When I refused to confess my sin, I was… miserable.
Psalm 32:3 NLT
Are you harbouring sin? Are you refusing to deal with your unresolved issues? David did, and he slipped into hell-deep depression. After committing adultery with Bathsheba, he arranged to have her husband killed, then he married her - and his world caved in! "I was… miserable."
What stops good people from cleaning up their act? Spiritual misconceptions! Damaging beliefs! See if you recognize any:
(1) Negative consequences are just the result of fate; they're not connected to my choices.
(2) God's much too forgiving to permit escalating consequences, or allow me to experience pain, just to get me to stop sinning.
(3) The enjoyment I get from my so-called sin, outweighs the benefit of stopping. Anyway, my sin isn't really hurting anyone.
(4) I can't help myself. The problem goes back to my childhood, so why wouldn't God extend grace, rather than impose discipline?
(5) Just because I sin doesn't mean I can't do something for God. Hey, God uses crooked sticks - we can't all be the Apostle Paul.
(6) Anyway it's not a sin, it's just a part of my personality that I struggle with.
Do you see what you're really saying? "My sin doesn't have consequences. God won't pursue this. I like my sin too much to give it up. I've convinced myself that I can't quit. My sin won't diminish my effectiveness. My problem isn't even a sin." If this describes you, embrace the truth, disregard the lies that have kept you stuck in unnecessary pain, and repent. Yes, repent and renounce it! The moment you do, you'll receive God's forgiveness - and the heaviness you're living under will lift!