TODAY’S SCRIPTURE Proverbs 28:10-14

“Forensic Files” is a popular crime drama based on the discoveries of forensic science. What appears to be the perfect crime is often solved through the diligent efforts of those skilled in this area of research. Recently, forensic evidence in the case of a thirty-five-year unsolved murder led to the arrest and conviction of the killer. For thirty-five years he had concealed his crime; though guilty, he thought he had gotten away with it.

We can do the same in dealing with our sins. Proverbs 28:13 teaches a powerful truth: “Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.” This is a message of hope and comfort. God’s pardon is abundant for the sinner who truly repents and forsakes his wrongdoing, but there can be no pardon for the one who tries to cover his sins.

The Bible provides numerous examples of how we can conceal our transgressions. Perhaps the most common response is to deny we have done anything wrong. This is the case with Ananias and Sapphira, who want to appear as generous as Barnabas in making a gift to the Jerusalem church (Acts 5:1-11). When confronted with their lie, they are given the opportunity to tell the truth; instead, they deny their wrongdoing and God strikes them dead.

A second way we can conceal sin is to blame someone else for what we have done. When God confronts Adam about eating forbidden fruit, he immediately blames Eve for giving him the fruit, who in turn blames the serpent (Genesis 3:1-13). Playing the blame game does not absolve us of responsibility for our actions. To the contrary, it only adds to our guilt.

A third way of concealing sin is when we attempt to justify what we have done, as if that makes it right. This is illustrated by the lawyer who discusses with Jesus the two greatest commands: love God and your neighbor as yourself. “But he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, ‘And who is my neighbor?’” (Luke 10:25-29). The Lord then told him the incomparable story of the Good Samaritan, telling him, “You go and do likewise” (vs. 30-37).

Today, I will…resolve to stop hiding my sins; rather, I will confess and forsake them, receiving the abundant pardon of God.