“Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, ‘I will confess my transgressions to the LORD’—and you forgave the guilt of my sin” Psalm 32:5
Several years ago, the city of Las Vegas launched an advertising campaign to lure visitors with the promise: “What happens here, stays here.” The message is obvious. Las Vegas is a place where you can pursue your lust and greed with abandon, somehow disconnecting it from the rest of your life and hiding it from friends and family. Check your morals at the door and revel in unbridled freedom. No guilt, no fear, no consequences. It is, they claim, an adult playground, existing solely for your indulgence and amusement, where your secrets are kept.
Before you start taking the bait “hook, line, and sinker” you need to know that what you do in Las Vegas—or anywhere else—doesn’t stay there. What you do is a part of you, and you’ll take it all home with you!
The words of King David provide ample warning for us. I would suspect that, with much of his kingdom away in battle, David assumed that “What happens in the palace stays in the palace.” However, his secret fling with Bathsheba was exposed all too quickly with the expanding signs of her pregnancy. His attempts to cover his tracks led him to one desperate scheme after another. Yet in the end, with the blood of Bathsheba’s husband, Uriah, on his hands, he found himself face to face with the prophet Nathan and the consequences of his sin exposed to all. His reign and service to the Lord would forever be marked by that tragic moment in his life.
More tellingly, Psalm 32:1-11 records that, even before the sin was publicly exposed, the pangs of David’s conscience kept him in anguish. “When I kept silent,” he writes, “my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer” (Psalm 32:3-4). He didn’t leave his sin with Bathsheba behind in the bed of adultery; he was crushed by the guilt and shame that he carried with him.
When we choose to sin, we do not leave the sin behind without a trace. If you belong to God, the indwelling Holy Spirit will sound the alarm. And though no one knows, we will be haunted by the fear of discovery and the loss of self worth. As Scripture says, “You may be sure that your sin will find you out” (Numbers 32:23)!
So join King David. Know the joy of being done with the cover-ups and finished with the secrets. Genuine confession before our loving and forgiving God will trigger His grace and forgiveness and will enable you to leave Sin City far, far behind!
- Did the Holy Spirit spotlight any area of your life that needs to be brought into the light? Go before the Lord in genuine, heartfelt confession, acknowledging your need of His forgiveness.
- What other lies does Satan try to feed us to convince us that sinning is worth the toll that it takes on our lives?
- How can time in God’s Word and in prayer help us to more quickly recognize areas of sin and struggle in our lives?