We’ve all disobeyed God and hurt other people. What, then, can we do with our guilt? God’s Holy Spirit directed David to write in the Book of Psalms (32:3-5) that keeping our sin inside saps our strength, but if we confess our sin we will receive mercy.

This confessing should be to God, but I don’t think it stops there. We must also acknowledge our sin privately to those we may have hurt. Jesus tells us in Matthew that if anyone has something against us we are to drop everything and make it right with them. Our confession may be rejected by that person, but we will have fulfilled what God requires of us. If it is not possible to connect with the offended person, please remember that David’s promise in Psalms still applies.

As tough as confessing may be, Solomon’s instruction in the Book of Proverbs (28:13) adds that not only is confession necessary to receive mercy, but thrusting that sin from us is also needed. I’ll tell you what, that comes about only when we depend on the power of Christ and not our own. This thrusting away requires a heartfelt prayer asking for Jesus’ power, admitting that our strength is too feeble. It requires an honest desire to be free from that sin which offended another. If we throw ourselves humbly at Jesus’ feet, if we are sincere and genuine in our request, He will strengthen us and we will be victorious.

So, what can we do with our guilt? We can either bear it ourselves; blame someone else; or confess our sin, forsake it, and receive mercy.

You know, all this confessing and humbling makes God happy, pleases the person you offended, and yields that elusive peace that passes all understanding.