I’ll never forget the evening I came clean with her. The buried little fact about myself had been dogging my conscience for days. I wanted to tell her, but I couldn’t muster up the courage. I would sense the right moment presenting itself, but then I would chicken out every time.
I knew that if our dating relationship was going to move forward to the next level of engagement, she needed to know about it. It was only fair. After all, she had not avoided the awkwardness of practicing full disclosure with me.
So, there in her living room that evening I finally blurted it out. Staring at the floor, I told her the little fact about me that I figured could quite possibly be the deal breaker. “Brace yourself,” I thought, “because this might be the evening she says ‘See ya.'”
But, to my surprise, she didn’t.
When I looked up, there were those beautiful brown eyes, as big and affirming as ever, looking right at me. Her head nodded up and down emphatically as she said, “I still love you.”
That was one of the most profound encounters I have ever had with unconditional love. That night my bride-to-be taught me something about God that I never understood before. Oh, I knew that He loved me without condition, but that night I experienced it. I touched it. Or, better yet, it touched me.
This must have been sort of what David experienced when he wrote Psalm 32. After an illicit sexual escapade and a deadly cover-up attempt, David wasted months frantically trying to avoid his God-given conscience. As the guilt piled up on his shoulders, his body emaciated and his once robust spirit atrophied.
Finally, when a loyal friend had the audacity to call him out, David came clean and confessed his sin to God. And these are a few of the epic words that came from that experience:
1 Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven,
whose sin is covered.
2 Blessed is the man against whom the Lord counts no iniquity,
and in whose spirit there is no deceit…
5 I acknowledged my sin to you,
and I did not cover my iniquity;
I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,”
and you forgave the iniquity of my sin. Selah
After confessing his brokenness before God, David looked up and, to his surprise, found that the Lord was still there. Fearing that he was going to get what he deserved, instead David received the embrace of forgiveness.
And the same can be true for you and me.
When we open our eyes after confessing the sometimes terrifying truth about ourselves, we will find that the Lord is still there. In those moments of unvarnished honesty, as we speak forthrightly with God about the mess that we are, we are in the best position to really understand the nature of His divine love. When we expect Him to leave us, it is then that He seems closer than ever.
Since Jesus atoned for all of our sin on the cross, all that’s left for us to do is confess. While that sounds easy enough, you and I both know that it isn’t. One of the reasons for this is that our sin tends to hang out in the “blind spots” of our lives, like the car behind us that we don’t notice until it honks. Like David, sometimes we need someone to point out what we don’t see.
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all righteousness.” -I John 1:9
The truth is that everybody sins, but not everybody confesses. It is those of us who dare to practice full disclosure with God that experience the joy of being loved, even when we are at our worst.
It’s a new day with God. Run with it.