According to an often told story, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, author of the Sherlock Holmes series, once decided to play a practical joke on twelve of his friends. To each he sent an anonymous telegram that simply read, “Flee at once . . . all is discovered.”
Within twenty-four hours, all twelve had fled the country. Evidently, they all had something to hide.
Most of us do have something to hide. We have some secret we don’t want discovered? We have regrets, real and imagined. We’ve made bad choices. We live hoping that all will never be discovered. Guilt tugs at our souls, nags our minds and saps our spirits. In fact, I’m convinced that most of us live lives robbed of peace and joy because of this. What can we do?
There are just two answers. One, we can go on just as we’ve been doing. Hoping that we can keep up appearances. Hoping that no one will find out. Letting our past drain our present and future of joy. Or two, we can confess to God and receive His forgiveness. The first answer fails miserably, the second is our only hope.
God doesn’t want you to live in guilt and shame. He doesn’t want your life empty of peace and joy. He wants you to live in the joy of forgiveness. He wants to free you from the chains of the past so that you can experience the fullness of His life today.
“If we say we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and refusing to accept the truth. 9 But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us and to cleanse us from every wrong.”
1 John 1:8-9 (NLT)