Confession versus Guilt
We admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
Sometimes we've lived a lie for so long, and built so much of our lives on a false foundation, that we're afraid to admit the truth. It would mean dismantling much of the good we've worked for in order to go back and explain. But we're plagued with guilt and fear of exposure, constantly looking over our shoulder. We may fear divine judgment and human vengeance, forfeiting years of peace. We may interpret everything that goes wrong in our lives as just punishment for the lie we're living.
This was the case for the brothers of Joseph, who sold him into slavery and told their father he was dead. Their story is told in Genesis 37-50. We see later that they interpreted their trouble with the Egyptian officials as God's punishment for their hidden sins. When they tried to explain why they couldn't leave their young brother Benjamin, they had to repeat the lie that Joseph was dead. They didn't realize that the man they were addressing was their brother Joseph. They were snared in their own lies and tormented by fears of retribution. When Joseph finally revealed himself and offered forgiveness, they found it hard to believe and receive.
When we refuse to take the risk of uncovering lies, we're condemning ourselves to a life of guilt. It may be hard to face the truth, but it isn't as bad as living with the heavy burden of the lies. With a clean conscience, there is freedom and hope for a good life.
It may be hard to admit the truth, but that's the path to our recovery.