We had a discussion on confession at my small group meeting Thursday and the leader showed a video of a Catholic priest explaining their sacrament of confession. It is different than what I have believed (and still do), but there are some aspects of their way that I wholeheartedly support. We discussed how our sin not only affects us but since we are the “Body of Christ” it affects all of the body and we should confess to the ones we have hurt by our actions. Our actions not only hurt us and our relationship with Christ, but others are usually caught up in our mistakes someway. And we are often caught up in the mistakes of others around us even though we may be innocent bystanders.
I want to say Psalm 51 is a model confession; it is David’s prayer after the prophet Nathan pointed out his sneaky affair and following mess with Bathsheba. We’ve looked at this before in a previous post (see “Losing Touch with Reality (conclusion)” dated June 20, 2017), however we didn’t look at David’s prayer of confession. David pleads for mercy from God, and we often quote verses 10-12, “Create in me a pure heart, O God and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.” We also quote verses 15-17 “O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth and declare Your praise. You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; You do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, You will not despise.”
The one thing that keeps me from using this as a model confession is verse 4; “Against You, You only have I sinned and done what is evil in Your sight.” I find this to be confusing and contradictory to a full confession to God and to those who have been victims of our mistakes. And there are several in David’s scenario: Bathsheba, Uriah, the innocent soldiers killed with Uriah, Joab, and probably some close attendants of David’s who were aware of what was happening. That’s another question I’d like to ask when I get to heaven.