Breakfast with Solomon - Proverbs 28:13
"He who conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will find compassion"
The greatest success comes out of our weakness, mistakes, and brokenness. Most of us want to hide out when we have messed up. But one of the keys to maturity is the ability to face when you have made a mistake and admit all that took place there.
This is the Hebrew word kasa which means to cover, to hide, conceal. In a few places it has the sense of forgive. It is interesting to realize that when we hide our mistakes, sins, and disasters, we are in a sense forgiving ourselves without giving others the chance to really evaluate it.
This is the Hebrew word pesa which means rebellion, revolt, transgression. To sin is really to rebel against someone you should not rebel from; to go an independent way when that is not appropriate or allowed. It is one of the great temptations of life. I want to do what I want to do no matter what others think, no matter what is right, no matter who wants me to do something different. "I do not want to live my life within someone else's box." "I don't care who gets hurt or what happens; I just want to do this."
It is very interesting to realize that a crucial component of selfishness and sin is rebellion. When we try and hide or conceal when we have acted this way or when we try and conceal an action that is rebellion as though it were not, God says that we will not prosper. Rebellion is rebellion and it will not allow prosperity. Independence is something different from rebellion. Independent thinking, creativity, and action is not rebellion.
Even if a person gains "prosperity" through their rebellion, the relationship that they destroyed hardens. What does it matter if a person gains the whole world but loses their soul – and their relationships?
Jesus says, "Blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted." This is the idea here. A person must be comfortable with brokenness. A person must be comfortable with their mistakes and their errors of judgment and be able to be non-defensive about what they did and what they should have done. It is when a person comes out from hiding something that they can really be forgiven and can learn from a thing.
No matter who you are, there will be things that you have done which were wrong, were mistakes, were errors. It is crucial that you begin examining these and be willing to admit what you did and did not do.
Often a person's greatest life message comes out of their brokenness. When they are willing to admit what they don't know or the mistakes they have made, they are ready for forgiveness and success.
There are really two things that are promised here: prosperity out of brokenness and compassion out of openness.
This is the Hebrew word raham which means to love deeply, to have mercy, to be compassionate. This is very interesting and exciting to realize that one cannot find deep love when one is hiding from one's mistakes. It is only possible to find deep love and mercy through brokenness and openness. One person put it this way: People want to be forgiven without confessing anything; people want mercy without admitting that they are guilty. It just doesn't work that way.
Many children long for the deep embrace of their parents in love. But they keep them at arm’s distance because they refuse to admit where they acted like the rebel. They refuse to admit that the actions that are keeping them apart are wrong and destructive. Too many of us want to be loved, accepted, and forgiven in the midst of our rebellion and sin. It just doesn't work this way.
One of the surest ways to create an addict is to start running from your mistakes, wounds, and mess-ups. In order to be an addict you have to have a wound that you are trying to forget; trying to self-medicate. At whatever age you are and wherever you are, if you will embrace the path of confession and brokenness, you can be healed from the push to cover over the sins of your past. Forgiveness is a wonderful place. You can get there with the simple steps of confession.
Let me just cover how to actually do this:
Begin to think of the people who have wronged in the past – or the people that you were close with but are not close anymore.
Ask God to show you how you might have wronged them.
Write down what comes to mind.
Think through the list from the other person's point of view. How significant would this have been to them?
Ask God to forgive you for your actions.
Go to the person that you have wronged – either in person or on the telephone.
Let them know that God has been convicting you about how wrong you were when you did...
Admit that you are probably not aware of all the ways that you hurt them.
Ask them if they could forgive you. “Would you forgive me? I know that I don't have any right to ask that you would forgive me but would you forgive me?” Wait for them to reply.