Psalm 32:5 (NIV84)
5 Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity.
I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord”— and you forgave the guilt of my sin.
The expression “instant gratification” has become associated with people who expect to get what they want when they want it. Instant gratification is viewed negatively because it takes the easy way out. The opposite of instant gratification is delayed gratification. Psychologists say that people who are willing to delay gratification will generally be more successful in achieving their goals because they have the ability to wait for something better.
In most areas of life, it is probably better to practice delayed gratification, but when we talk about the forgiveness of sins, isn’t instant gratification a better model to follow? How often do we unnecessarily persist in carrying heavy burdens of sin, guilt, and shame without going to God with a repentant heart? How often do we unnecessarily hold grudges against other people because we are unwilling to say those three simple words, “I forgive you.” Spiritually speaking, isn’t it true that when we cover up our sins instead of confessing them or withhold forgiveness instead of offering it, we are delaying the gratification of forgiveness for which God paid so dearly?
The psalm writer, King David, says, “‘I will confess my transgressions to the Lord.’ And you forgave the guilt of my sin.” When David finally was willing to own up to what he had done and confessed his sin, God forgave him instantly. There was no delayed forgiveness. There was no trial period where David had to prove he was really sorry. There was no additional work that needed to be done. David confessed his sins. He trusted in God for that forgiveness. His sins were forgiven instantly.
Don’t delay the gratification of the forgiveness of sins. Whatever reason you have for holding on to your sin, it’s not worth it. In fact, holding onto your sin could be deadly to your faith. Whatever reason you have for holding onto a grudge, it’s not worth it. In fact, holding onto that grudge could also be deadly to your faith. Your Savior is waiting eagerly to welcome you back into his loving arms. The forgiveness he won for you is yours without conditions. So when it comes to forgiveness, don’t delay gratification by holding on to sins or grudges. Experience the instant gratification that comes through the forgiveness of sins and be comforted as David was. “‘I will confess my transgressions to the Lord.’ And you forgave the guilt of my sin.”
PRAYER: Forgive our sins, Lord, we implore, That they may trouble us no more; We, too, will gladly those forgive Who hurt us by the way they live. Help us in our community To serve each other willingly. Amen. (Christian Worship, 410, v. 6)