As Sick As Our Secrets
He who conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will find compassion."1
Earlier this evening I was reading a church-sponsored website set up to provide a safe place where people can confess their sins and failures. It was called "Sharing Secrets."
Obviously people all over are desperate to confess their sins and failures and be rid of oppressive guilt. The number of and variety of confessions were pretty much par for the course. People shared their problems with addictions, living a double life, eating disorders, gambling, pornography, adultery, hurt, lying, stealing, relationships, illicit sex, past humiliation, regret, shame, abuse, lust, substance abuse, self-harm and so on.
My best guess is that most of these people were ordinary everyday people. There may have been some but I didn't read of any who were involved in criminal activity. Some of these people held responsible positions; some were in leadership—including a pastor or two. The reality is we are all fellow strugglers in that we have all sinned, and when we do, we are plagued by guilt. Even if we repress the guilt from conscious memory, it will still plague us in one way or another.
As psychologists tell us, we are as sick as our secrets.
Every one of us needs a safe place to confess our sins and failures and to be fully forgiven. As King David said after confessing his sin with Bathsheba, "Finally, I confessed all my sins to you [God] and stopped trying to hide my guilt. I said to myself, 'I will confess my rebellion to the Lord.' And you forgave me! All my guilt is gone.”2
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank you that when I admit and confess my sins to You, You fully forgive me and set me free from guilt. Help me not to sin, but when and if I do, give me the courage to confess what I have done to You and to a safe and trusting person, pastor, priest or counselor. Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully in Jesus's name, amen."
1. 1 John 1:9 (NIV).
2. Proverbs 28:13 (NASB).