Another element of our worship is our recognition that we fall short of the glory of God each day. When we encounter God, we become aware of our sin. In response to seeing our sins, we are called confess these sins to God. While the saying “confession is good for the soul” seems to be true, confessing our sins to God is not an easy thing to do.
It helps to know what real confession looks like. One of the best examples of confession is Psalm 51. Psalm 51 is somewhat unique in that we are told the exact circumstances of its origin in the title. This psalm is a response of David to the situation that he found himself in after committing a set of grievous sins against God and his people.
Nathan, a prophet, helps David see just how wrong David has been. David has committed adultery and murder, and as he comes to terms with his sin, he knows that he must now face his God. The result is this psalm which serves as one of the most honest depictions of true confession before God.
While we may not have sinned in the fashion of David, the truth is that we don’t go a day without sinning. We are an imperfect people, and we need God’s forgiveness. However, we know from 1 John 1:9 that when we confess our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive them.
What a joy it is that God does not desire that we should punish ourselves or even make some sacrifice in order to receive forgiveness. As verses 16 and 17 state, God simply desires that our hearts be broken over our sin. What is even more joyous is that our confession does not lead to shame. Instead, our confession allows God to create in us a clean heart. With that clean heart we are able to worship our God without fear or pause.
Confession is never easy, but it is so important. Take time to consider the ways that you have sinned against God recently. As you reflect on the sins that you have committed against God and the people around you, consider making these words of David your own. Speak them to God recognizing that his forgiveness is freely given to those who now claim Christ’s righteousness. We no longer need a sacrifice to make things right because Jesus became the ultimate sacrifice for us. After you confess your sins through the words of this psalm, celebrate the righteousness that God has given you through Christ.