I acknowledged my sin to You, and my iniquity I did not hide; I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord”; And You forgave the guilt of my sin.
—Psalm 32:5

There are several benefits of fessing up to your mess-up after you make a mistake in life. First, admitting our failure allows us to receive God’s forgiveness. That’s the greatest benefit of confession. Augustine said, “God gives where he finds empty hands.” As long as we are denying our failure, rationalizing our failure, or being bitter toward somebody else for our failure, we are not in a position to receive God’s forgiveness.

Can I tell you something to make it easier for you to admit your failure to God? He already knows about it. You may have hidden your sin from other people, but God knows about it. God knows every mistake you have ever made, so why not open your hands and empty them of that denial, that rationalization, and that bitterness so that you can receive His forgiveness?

Second, admitting our failure results in renewed emotional and physical vitality. Nothing saps your physical strength more than trying to cover over your failure. Nothing will sap your emotional energy more than the constant, nagging worry: “What if somebody finds out?”

If you are physically and emotionally exhausted from trying to hide your failure, then go ahead and admit it to God. You’re not giving Him new information, and you will experience the physical and emotional relief that comes from confession.

A third benefit of confession is that admitting our failure encourages us to hit the Reset button of our lives. Not long ago I finished washing my hair and grabbed the hair dryer. I flipped it on, but nothing happened. Flipped it again. Nothing. Finally, I hit the Reset button and the hair dryer began to blow. Sometimes we have to hit the Reset button in our lives; and that’s what admitting our failure does.

When we admit to God and to others that we have failed, we no longer have to be prisoners of our past. It’s like we have drawn a line between our past and our future. It’s like hitting the Reset button and saying, “I’m ready to start over. My past is my past. I’m ready for my future.”

A foolish person keeps repeating the same mistake over and over again, but the wise person is willing to learn from his mistakes. We can only profit from our mistakes if we are willing to admit our mistakes.

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Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Fess Up to Your Mess-Up” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2016.

Scripture quotations are taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.