When I kept things to myself, I felt weak deep inside me. I moaned all day long. … Then I confessed my sins to you and didn’t hide my guilt. I said, “I will confess my sins to the Lord,” and you forgave my guilt. [Psalm 32:3, 5 (NCV)]

Most of us aren’t good at admitting when we’ve sinned or even misbehaved. In fact, some of us are pretty good at denying it altogether. When my children were small, the guilty party in our household always seemed to be someone named “Not me” or “I don’t know.” One child always said, “The fox did it!” Is it the fear of punishment or the fear of not being forgiven that so often prevents us from acknowledging our sins?

As a girl, whenever I was caught misbehaving or admitted to disobedience, I knew I could expect yelling, tears, humiliation, disgrace and punishment. Forgiveness wasn’t guaranteed and wrongs were often rehashed again and again. I knew I deserved the punishment, but it was forgiveness that I craved. So, like many people, I did my best to hide my problems, failures and transgressions. Hiding sins, however, is like hiding garbage; as the guilt and shame accumulate, sooner or later things are going to stink!

Our Heavenly Father  gives us a guarantee our earthly parents didn’t: unconditional forgiveness. It’s amazing how easy it is to confess one’s sins when assured of forgiveness. Today, if there is any guilt or shame stinking up your life, confess your sins to God and be restored. There’s no secret so shameful and no sin so vile that He won’t forgive. Toss the disgusting garbage of past transgressions and start fresh today.

Father, help us acknowledge our wrongs and accept responsibility for our transgressions. Listen to our litany of offenses as we offer our confessions to you. Empty our lives of guilt and shame; fill us with joy at your merciful love and promised forgiveness.

When God forgives us and purifies us of our sin, He also forgets it. Forgiveness results in God dropping the charges against us. [Billy Graham]

If we say we have no sin, we are fooling ourselves, and the truth is not in us. But if we confess our sins, he will forgive our sins, because we can trust God to do what is right. He will cleanse us from all the wrongs we have done. [1 John 1:8-9 (NCV)]