One of the reasons a believer should “keep short accounts” with the Lord is because sometimes the effects of unconfessed sin can have disastrous long-term consequences.
In our Psalm for prayer this week, David prays, “when I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long” (Psa.32:3). His unwillingness to confess his sin affected his body. I don’t know if he experienced an abnormal amount of broken bones during those several months or whether he was unknowingly referring to early onset bone marrow cancer. Probably neither. But the connection between his soul and his body is pretty clear.
He says much the same in v.4: “my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer.” The burden of guilt on this soft-hearted shepherd-king had a parching effect on him, almost like a heat stroke. His guilty conscience affected his energy level. Made him sluggish.
You’ve heard it said that confession is good for the soul. It is, but it’s also good for the body. Unconfessed sin long ignored can affect your bones and your vitality. It may even cause more permanent damage after a while.
Your situation may be a bit more destructive than simply a guilty conscience. Maybe your struggles include active and aggressive destruction of your body through substance abuse. Either way, the solution is the same. It begins with confessing your sins to God. It doesn’t end there, but it does begin there.
It’s so much more pleasant to say “Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered” (v.1). That comes after confession. So as you pray through this psalm this week, make it a point to work at developing the godly habit of keeping short accounts with God.