“While I kept my silence, my body wasted away
through my groaning all day long...
Then I acknowledged my sin to you,
and I did not hide my iniquity...
and you forgave the guilt of my sin.”
— PSALM 32:3, 5 (NRSV)
We have all kept the darkest secrets only to find ourselves cursed because the darkness descended over us and smothered all our light. The truth that regales through Psalm 32—the King of Israel, David, having transgressed the house of Uriah and Bathsheba, having experienced forgiveness—is the classic case of the blessings unveiled at the honest discharge of the guilt of our sin.
The forgiveness of the guilt of our sin is quite straightforward. We are the ones who complicate it, by hiding the truth from God; or from others who can facilitate our forgiveness.
Of course, we know that we cannot hide anything from God. But we still try it on. We still have our ‘Adam’ moments where it’s as if we are naked in the garden, and we try desperately to look for a fig leaf in order to hide the evidence of our sin or make it that the appearance of our sin is palatable to us, others and God.
It’s only when we have arrived at the awareness to know that concealing the truth is benign to healing that we have courage enough, perhaps, to plunge through the murkiness of the guilt of our sin and reveal it for what it is. We are always best revealing it to another person in the sight of God; a trusted, grace-and-Spirit-filled person will suffice.
The Importance of Hearing the Words: The Guilt of Our Sin
When we have come to the point of knowing that we must confess our sin, and we also know that divulging our guilt to another graceful other will help in our being released, we stand at the precipice, ready to take the step and plunge from a confounding darkness into God’s glorious light.
We imagine an image of bungee jumping. We are terrified before we take the plunge, and on the way down we wonder how it will end, and very suddenly we reach the bottom, and the cord recoils before we know it.
Just the same, taking the step of admitting the guilt of our sin seems horrendous, until we realise we had just taken the step and no condemnation comes our way. Suddenly, as if reaching the bottom of the bungee jump, we realise we are safe, and an incredible sense of relief courses through our veins.
There is incredible importance in hearing the words of our admission; the trembling voice; the stutters and stammers; the anxiety on our lips.
The truth gives entrance to light in the company of darkness, and the darkness gives way to the light instantly. The guilt of sin loses its burden and the weight literally falls off having confessed it within a grace-filled atmosphere. When we trust our darkness to the light, the light frees us of the darkness.
© 2013 S. J. Wickham.