Someone wrote to one of those internet question and answer websites, pleading, “My guilt is eating me alive? I have felt this way for six months now? I can’t live like this? When will it stop?” I’ve read similar cries on the Internet from anonymous people.
The best answers given? “Guilt is nature’s way of making sure you do not do this again.” “Forgive yourself.” “It will stop when you atone for what you did.” “Do something good?to pay back for what you did.”
Psalm 32 expresses vividly the pain of bottling up your feelings and stubbornly refusing to confess them. The psalmist also expresses the release and relief of confessing to the divine lawgiver who alone has the power to judge and to forgive all sins, and the overflowing joy of being forgiven.
“Confession is good for the soul,” says the old proverb. But the original Scottish proverb says, “Open confession is good for the soul.” How blessed we are to have priests and pastors who will counsel us, hear our confidential confession, and pronounce God’s full and free forgiveness by the authority Jesus gave to his disciples. God is love! Take the grace! Feel the joy!
Dear God, help us learn to give vent to what's inside us in productive and constructive ways. Amen. — JH