As a freshman in high school, I remember reading the famous short story by Edgar Allan Poe called the Tell Tale Heart. In the story, a man commits a murder, and to cover up his evil, he cuts the body into pieces and hides them in his basement. He thinks he has gotten away with his evil, but a problem arises. The man begins to hear the beating of the heart of the person he has killed in his head. Of course, no one else can hear it, but the man does not know that. The beating is so real to him that when the police show up at his door, he just knows they are there because they hear the heart and know what he has done. The police are there in a matter totally unrelated to the murder and do not even know a murder has taken place. In the end, the man confesses his crime to the police and is taken away. In trying to conceal his crime, the man’s soul would not let him prosper.
So many times, we as believers try to pull one over on God. We allow junk to creep into our lives, and then we try to give God the silent treatment. We don’t want to be honest with Him or with others about the sin we have in our lives. So we try to hide it. We sneak around, and try to cover our tracks. We can get very creative in creating stories that will cover our tracks, and keep us out of trouble.
The writer of Proverbs is giving an eternal truth in this passage. “He who covers his sins will not prosper.” We may get away with the sin for a while. We may snow our family, our Christian friends, our spiritual leaders, our bosses. But a person who conceals and hides his sin will never prosper. Why? Because a person who hides his or her sin is investing a lie into his or her soul, and that lie will cause a person to grow farther and farther from God, which will lead to emptiness. We never pull a fast one on God. Unconfessed sin will always bring judgement and discipline from God.
On the other hand, a person, who as a matter of lifestyle will confess and forsake their sin will find the mercy of God. A person who is honest with God when they fail, will find the forgiveness of God.
We all blow it.
We all make mistakes.
We all have areas of sin in our lives.
God’s desire is for us to be honest with Him about our sin, and to turn from that sin. In doing so, God will make us clean and give us power to live differently.