I Will Confess
February 22, 2015
At least according to some researchers, a famous line from the 1970 film, “Love Story” really is true. In the movie, the character played by Ali MacGraw tells the character played by Ryan O’Neal, “Love means never having to say you’re sorry.” As a side note, it is interesting that just two years later in the movie “What’s Up, Doc?” Barbara Streisand says the same thing to O’Neal (playing a different character) and he replies, “That’s the dumbest thing I ever heard.”
Yet recently some psychologists have not only affirmed MacGraw’s statement, but they’ve taken it a step further, saying that it is rewarding not to say you’re sorry:
“When you refuse to apologize, it actually makes you feel more empowered,” [researcher Tyler G. Okimoto] said. “That power and control seems to translate into greater feelings of self-worth.”
Ironically, Okimoto said, people who refused to apologize ended up with boosted feelings of integrity. [Accessed at Smithsonian, 4/14/13.]
And that assessment is in direct opposition to what Scripture says. King David tried out the theory of Mr. Okimoto and he arrived at a much different conclusion: he discovered the power and peace of offering confession and receiving forgiveness (Ps. 32). We do well to remember the circumstance in which David penned this psalm:
- He committed adultery with Bathsheba.
- He killed her husband (who also happened to be one of the great warriors and leaders of Israel).
- He deceived the nation about his sin.
- He attempted to deceive God (for over a year).
- When confronted with Nathan (2 Sam. 12), he finally confessed his sin.
David penned two psalms following this sin: Psalm 51 is his immediate response of confession and Psalm 32 is his later reflection on the power of confession and being forgiven by God. He has had opportunity to ponder what benefit has come from confession and this is his conclusion.
As we read this psalm, we find that it deals with three great realities in the spiritual life:
- All people sin.
- All people are tempted to try to hide their sin.
- Joy and blessing only come to those who confess their sins.
Whatever your situation today, whether you are a believer in Christ whose fundamental identity has been changed from “sinner” to “saint,” or whether you are not a believer in Christ, we all still struggle with sin. We are all tempted to sin each day, and in thought and deed we do actually sin each day. And then the further temptation is, “what will I do with that sin? Will I hide it? Or will I confess it?”
David will teach us in this psalm that:
Only those who openly confess their sins will experience God’s blessing.
Hudson Taylor once noted, “All God’s great men were weak men who counted on the fact that God was with them.” And nowhere does God’s presence impact us more fully than in His forgiveness of our sin.
Here in this psalm, we will find five realities about the nature of confession:
- The Present Joy of Confession and Forgiveness (vv. 1-2)
- The Consequences of Not Choosing Confession (vv. 3-4)
- A Picture of Genuine Confession (v. 5)
- God’s Hope for Those Who Confess (vv. 6-8)
- An Exhortation to Confess (vv. 9-11)
Download the rest of this sermon on Psalm 32.
The audio will be posted on the GBC website later today.