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S (Scripture): Psalm 32
1 The one whose wrongdoing is forgiven,
whose sin is covered over, is truly happy!
2 The one the Lord doesn’t consider guilty—
in whose spirit there is no dishonesty—
that one is truly happy!
3 When I kept quiet, my bones wore out;
I was groaning all day long—
every day, every night!—
4 because your hand was heavy upon me.
My energy was sapped as if in a summer drought.
5 So I admitted my sin to you;
I didn’t conceal my guilt.
“I’ll confess my sins to the Lord, ” is what I said.
Then you removed the guilt of my sin.
O (Observation): Something the psalmist recognizes is that what brings us to peace is not a life full of righteous deeds alone, but rather, a contrite heart – a heart willing to acknowledge its own brokenness and shortcomings. Full honesty with God brings true happiness.
The psalmist recognizes the pain that comes with NOT confessing (“my bones were out,” “groaning,” etc.). The way we are made is such that we confess our wrongdoings to God and to one another.
In confession, truth comes forth…and the truth will set you free.
A (Application): This all sounds good and well, but won’t God be disappointed in me? Won’t my neighbors be disappointed in me? When I confess, won’t I be admitting failure?!?!?
In a word, yes! Yes you will be admitting failure…but to whom is that failure a problem?
Is God disappointed when we fail? How did your parents react when you didn’t win the track meet? When you goofed up at the dance recital? When you forgot your line in the school play?
How did your friends react…your true friends…when you forgot you were hanging out over the weekend, and you made other plans?
We focus so much on failure and HOW TO AVOID IT!!! What if, instead, we focused on forgiveness and learning from our mistakes?
My parents have been (and continue to be) excellent examples of what forgiveness looks like. They showed it to me growing up, and they instill this in their grandchildren. They were always proud of us (and still are) and they help teach us to do work that we can be proud of…but to also know that failures can be lessons learned.
As we work through challenges in my family, we are trying to instill the same values of the psalmist. Come to one another in full disclosure. Admit when we’ve done wrong. Seek forgiveness in all things (instead of just getting defensive).
When we are honest and seek forgiveness… ain’t much more than that to make me a proud son / husband / father.
P (Prayer): Lord, you encourage us to let you in and be honest with you. Give us courage to do this with you and with one another. Amen.