From a personal vantage point it often seems best not to deal with bad behaviour. The humiliation of acknowledging our own bad behaviour, or the perceived consequences to ourselves in addressing the bad behaviour of others, often results in endless relational headache.

From a more objective vantage point, we know that we ought to change and help one another to change. We know that help is better than apathy. We know that an open rebuke is better than secret love. We know that purity of motive is better than manipulation. We know that it is better to talk to the offender than gossip about the offender to others. We know restoring a friend is better than excusing a friend. Still though, we would rather cover bad behaviour than counsel it.

Psalm 32 is a personal testimony of one who stop covering his own bad behaviour, and exposed it openly and honestly to the LORD. David’s testimony begins with a great statement of blessing to the one whose sin is covered, not in a personal self-protecting sense, but in a divine forgiveness sense (Ps 32:1-2).

At first David had tried to cover his own bad behaviour, but the weight on his soul was more than he could bear (Ps 32:3). Severe depression was the result (Ps 32:4). But then David stopped covering his own sin, and acknowledged it to the LORD. Forgiveness was instant (Ps 32:5)!

David penned this for us as a lesson on how to expose our own bad behaviour, as a lesson on how God forgives, and as an example for us to follow (Ps 32:6-7). He knows that we are very slow to humble ourselves, and considers this Psalm to be both a word of counsel (Ps 32:8) and a word of rebuke (Ps 32:9).

The choice of confessing your bad behaviour is yours, so consider carefully the desired outcome (Ps 32:10). If you will uncover your sin, God will cover it with forgiveness. Then, though your life will be filled with the consequences of your past behaviour, you can rejoice in righteousness from this point forward, and you can walk uprightly in confident joy through it all.