About a month ago, my father had a costly operation on his finger. The worst part . . . it was completely avoidable.
(Full disclosure: He told me I could tell you this story.)
He had a sliver under his skin. He thought maybe it would just go away on its own. But it didn’t. In fact, the skin became so inflamed that the only solution was surgery.
My father’s procedure really wasn’t that big of a deal. The surgeon made his cut, removed the sliver, and stitched up the wound. But this serves as a metaphor for the painful process of confessing our sin. I don’t like to tell God and others the depth of my evil and wickedness. I don’t like to confess my sin. But every time I try to cover up what I’ve done, life gets much, much worse.
That’s why many in the Christian church set aside 40 days before Easter—a season called Lent. Lent is a time to uncover and dig out our own personal slivers that we’ve been ignoring. It’s a time of repentance. We don’t do this because we’re masochists. Nobody likes taking out slivers, and nobody likes to repent of sin. But in both cases, it brings relief and healing.
King David, who covered up his sin of murder and adultery, talked about the havoc in his heart when he kept silent.
“When I kept silent,
my bones wasted away
through my groaning all day long” (Psalm 32:3).
Keeping silent, hoping your guilt and shame will just disappear, is like hoping a sliver will just magically pop out of your skin. When you ignore the painful, yet necessary, practice of confessing your sin, your guilt and shame can be overwhelming.
But David finally did the hard work of confessing his sin, and it brought relief, joy, and healing to his heart.
“Then I acknowledged my sin to you
and did not cover up my iniquity.
I said, ‘I will confess
my transgressions to the LORD.’
And you forgave
the guilt of my sin” (Psalm 32:5).
Like pulling a long sliver from your skin, confession brings relief. Not just because you get your guilt off your chest but, more important, because you know that your Savior has completely paid for all your sin.
You can be sure that your sins are forgiven. If the blood of Jesus paid for the sins of King David, then you are covered as well. You can be open and honest about everything you’ve done because God already knows it all anyway. And, more important, it’s already been dealt with by Jesus Christ.
Let’s do the hard, even painful, work of digging out our slivers of sin and exposing them to the consuming love of God. You might even go to a pastor or a close friend to confess your sin and hear God’s words of forgiveness. The good Lord will bring complete healing to your soul.
Pastor Ben Sadler has served as a full-time pastor since 2010. He began his ministry serving a Spanish-speaking congregation in Florida. Since March 2014, he has served at Goodview Trinity Church in Minnesota. He is married to Emily, and they have three children. Ben loves to spend time with his family, ride his road bike, read, write, and preach.
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