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      Nurturing people in the image of God since 1868.                                                                          POB 397/520 Dry Creek Rd./Smithville, TN



Comedian Milton Berle once said, "My wife is great at keeping a secret. She knew four weeks ago that we were going to buy a car and never told me." What do you know that you've never told anyone? There is something about a secret (and something about us) that makes us want to tell it. One person observed a secret is like an aching tooth. It keeps you uneasy until it comes out. Yet there is one thing many of us seek to keep secret... our sins. Since Adam and Eve grabbed for the fig leaves after their sin in Eden, human beings have been attempting to cover up and hide the truth about themselves and what they have done from God and from other people. The Bible seeks to warn us there is danger in seeking to keep sin a complete secret. After David committed adultery with Bathsheba, he attempted to hide his sin. Read Psalm 32, 38, and 51 for a pointed description of the pain David's secret caused his soul. Psalm 34:3-4 sums up the unhealthy effect of his unconfessed sin: When I kept silent, my bones grew old through my groaning all the day long. For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me; my vitality was turned into the drought of summer." Relief came when he finally found the courage to come clean with God: "I acknowledged my sin to You, and my iniquity I have not hidden. I said, 'I will confess my transgressions to the LORD,' and You forgave the iniquity of my sin (32:5)."

Confession is good for the soul for at least two reasons. First, it clears our conscience. Most people are hard-wired with a conscience that causes our thoughts, in the words of the apostle Paul, to "accuse or excuse" us (Romans 2:15). Conscience keeps more people awake than coffee. Secondly, and even more importantly, confessing our sins clears not only our conscience it clears us with God. In 1 John 1:9 the apostle John wrote, If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." There is something more important about confession than the fact it can make us feel good about ourselves it makes- God feel good about us! When we come clean with God, He makes us clean again as He forgives our sin. It has often been noted by preachers and Bible teachers that our confession should be as public as our sin. Is there a sin you need to confess to a mate, a friend, a counselor, an elder or preacher, or to the whole church? Secret sins seldom stay secret, and even if they remain hidden from people, they are never hidden from God. But when you come clean with God you receive cleansing from Him. If you have sins you need to confess, do it. Confession is good for the soul.

Dan Gulley
Smithville church of Christ