In vs. 3-4, we read, “While I kept silence, my body wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer.” Trying to hide our sin from God, from others, and from ourselves can be debilitating. It eats us from the inside out. The weight of guilt (I did something bad) can lead to shame (I am bad). But then in vs. 5, the psalmist says, “Then I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not hide my iniquity; I said, ‘I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,’ and you [God] forgave my sin.”
Confession can be a powerful spiritual practice. When we share our guilt with God or with someone else, we no longer have to carry it on our own. The scriptures promise that when we confess, God will always turn towards us in love and forgiveness, helping us to see a better way for our lives moving forward. That may not always be the case with people. In fact, people may turn away from us when we are honest about who we are or what we’ve done. But even if that happens, bringing something out into the open has the effect of shining a little bit of light in the darkness.
Today, think of something for which you feel guilty. The same rules apply as for yesterday. It can be something big or small. Consider sharing it with a trusted friend or family member. Offer a prayer of thanksgiving for the gift of having this person in your life.