In November 1996, a man who had spent 23 years evading the law was finally arrested by US marshals outside a Tennessee motel. The long flight began when he disappeared to avoid serving a 2-year sentence for embezzling. While on the run, the man made millions of dollars by apparently legal means, but he could never use his real name or stay long in one place. After the arrest, the man’s lawyer said, “If one can feel good about being arrested, I know he feels good that this is going to be behind him.”

There is relief in being discovered. In Psalm 32, David wrote of his turmoil while refusing to face his sin: “When I kept silent, my bones grew old through my groaning all the day long. For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me” (vv.3-4).

Why do we wait so long to deal with the personal failures that weigh so heavily on our minds? What do we hope to gain by trying to cover up what is well-known to us and to God? We’ve already been “discovered” by the Lord, so it’s no use pretending any longer. “Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, . . . and in whose spirit there is no deceit” (vv.1-2).

Confession brings relief—at last!