The Discipline of Confession (Psalm 32)

Last week in the sermon we learned that integrity in the Christian life means being whole-hearted or sincere in our relationship with God and others, and that the only way to experience such wholeness is by first knowing God in His steadfast love and faithfulness.

This week from Psalm 32 we went further down this road by exploring the reasons why we hide our true selves from God and one another, what  effect such hiding has on our true selves and others, and how to come out of hiding and learn to live openly in God’s love and forgiveness.

Hiding from God and others takes many forms. It may be as simple as avoiding prayer or worship or even isolating from the community of faith. It may be as subtle as false image projection, inordinate anxiety about your appearance, or the tendency to stretch the truth about yourself.

  • At the root, why do you feel the need to hide your true self? What self-protecting mechanisms do you use to shield your true self from God and others? Do you feel like anyone knows the real you?

When hiding happens, David says his “bones wasted away” and he “groans,” even his strength “dries up as by heat of summer” (v.3-4).

  • Do these descriptions resonate with you? If so, stop right now and consider the effect your hiding from God and others is having on your life and character.

To come out of hiding, David first owns his sin in confession and experiences forgiveness (v.5). Instead of hiding from God, he hides in God (v.7)

  • What would it would it take for you to come out of hiding and to rest peacefully in God and others?
  • How does the instruction of verses 8-11 lead you in carrying out this all-important work?

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