Psalm 32:1-2, New Living Translation
Oh, what joy for those whose disobedience is forgiven, whose sin is put out of sight!
Yes, what joy for those whose record the Lord has cleared of guilt, whose lives are lived in complete honesty!
What a relief it would be to live a life of complete honesty! Imagine never having to hide a part of yourself or guard against eyes that see behind your mask. How refreshing to bring all of yourself into a relationship, every bit of you, knowing you would be accepted and loved and valued.
God tells us to confess our sins and repent because he wants us to bring our whole selves into communion with him. He already knows the worst of what we are hiding, and confession helps us to see how such hidden sins fragment us and keep us from living complete and authentic lives. When he forgives us, he says in effect, I see all of you, every part, and you are beautiful to me.
He also asks us to forgive one another, and for the same reasons. When you forgive me, you release me from the burden of trying to be someone I am not. Your forgiveness tells me that you accept me and value me, with all my weaknesses and even the parts of me that may hurt you. You encourage me to bring my whole self into the relationship without fear of rejection or judgment.
FATHER, thank you for your gift of forgiveness. Help me to trust you enough to bring my whole self to you and know that you will not scorn or dismiss me but welcome me with joy! Give me grace to offer this same gift to others in my life. When I am tempted to judge and condemn another, help me instead to see an opportunity to extend grace that encourages the other person to live honestly.
2 Corinthians 2:7-8 and 5:19
What is your safest relationship? What makes this relationship so special?