I acknowledge my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. (Psalm 51:3)
Confession is the heart of repentance. We cannot turn from our sin unless we are willing to acknowledge it. 1 John 1:9 is such a powerful confirmation to the psalmist's prayer, "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."(1) What caused the psalmist to acknowledge his sin? In a word, it was conviction. His sin was always before him; it haunted him. He couldn't get away from its presence. When Jesus ministered to those who were going to stone the woman caught in adultery, He said to them, "He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first." What happened? We are told, "Those who heard it, being convicted by their conscience, went out one by one."(2) Let us not ignore the gift of conscience. When we find our sin ever before us, let us acknowledge it to the Lord, so that He may cleanse us from all our unrighteousness.