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What’s to Confess – Grappling with Guilt

confession-of-sinKey Bible Verse: Finally, I confessed all my sins to you and stopped trying to hide my guilt. … And you forgave me! All my guilt is gone.  – Psalm 32:5

Bonus Reading: Psalm 32:1-5

I cheated. Eighteen, a new believer, and assigned to prepare 300 library research note cards for a final exam project, I’d turned in cards copied from someone else’s work.

Back at my frat house, I couldn’t eat, sleep, or pray. My dilemma was that I loved wrestling, and this godless professor was also my coach. After I gave my life to Jesus, obvious change in me led him to say, “Paul, why don’t you tell the other wrestlers what happened to you? Maybe it’ll help those rowdies too.” So my reputation was on the line. Finally the Spirit’s convicting prevailed. I asked God for forgiveness, then went to see my prof. “Coach, I cheated. Those cards we turned in I copied from another student.”

“Paul,” he replied, smirking, “I thought you were a Christian. How could you do this?”

“That’s why I became a Christian, Coach. I’m such a mess I need a Savior.” Taken aback by my honesty, he gave me a chance to save my grade. I spent a couple of days in the library and got a B. But for the rest of my college days that tough coach could hardly look me in the eyes. My repenting caused him to fear both me and the One who’d changed me that much.

—Paul Thorson in Painting in the Dark

My Response: I experienced the misery of the Spirit’s conviction when …

Thought to Apply: Forgiveness is always free. But that doesn’t mean that confession is always easy. Sometimes it is incredibly painful to admit our sins. —Erwin Lutzer

Adapted from Painting in the Dark (Integrity, 2006)

Prayer for the Week: My need to confess sin and be cleansed is as great as ever. Don’t let me to pretend otherwise.



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