One of the upsides to growing up with siblings is that you can blame them—especially when they aren’t around. The cartoon Family Circus captured kids’ typical reactions by featuring a little ghost named Not Me.
It’s not so cute when we act innocent as adults. Maybe you hint that the project was late not because you procrastinated but because other people lacked commitment. Maybe you try to justify your yelling by saying the kids deserved it. Maybe you keep a second bank account to hide purchases from your spouse.
King David had tried to cover up some of his sins, and he realized it wasn’t such a good idea: “When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. 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 32:3,5)
Here’s the thing: God already knew David’s sins, the same way he knows yours. Confessing your sins is not something God needs you to do. It’s for you. Carrying guilt around makes you feel scared, alone, hopeless, and worthless. It makes you even want to hide from God, the one whose voice speaks forgiveness. When you hide your sins, you hold on to them. When you confess them, you say, “Here, God, Jesus already paid for these, so I don’t have to carry them around anymore. Thank you for taking them away.”
Linda Buxa is a writer, Bible study leader, and retreat speaker. Her voice is heard regularly through her writing and blogging for Time of Grace. She is married to Greg, and they live in Wisconsin with their three active children.
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