According to C.S. Lewis, “we have a strange illusion that mere time cancels sin”. For most of us, this is completely true. All too often we fail to reflect on and repent of our sins. Amidst hustle and bustle, terror and sin, both in our personal lives and worldwide, it is easy to simply forget our need for forgiveness or feel that our transgressions are incomparable to the sins of others.
However, in his next statement, Lewis goes on to remind us that “mere time does nothing either to the fact or to the guilt of a sin”. Sometimes, this guilt can even feel all consuming. According to one study, the average person experiences feelings of guilt about five hours per week. As verses three and four show, there is freedom and comfort found in confessing our sins to Him. No matter how shameful we are, speaking with Christ about our mistakes or heartbreak is for our benefit and is not merely designed to be an obligation or painful process that furthers our guilt. We forget this constantly. Verses eight and nine remind us of this as they state that He is our hiding place and instructor. Our creator wants to guide each one of us! Though a simplistic concept, it is all too easily forgotten.
The last part of Psalm 32 reminds us that though the wicked experience hardship, those who trust in the Lord and rejoice in Him experience the Lord’s unfailing love. I pray that each one of us experiences joy in Him especially in a world that is often filled with negativity.
Psalm 32 was one of Augustine’s favourite Psalms and he reportedly had it inscribed on his wall. It is easy to understand why this was a favoured Psalm as it summarizes exactly how we should live: repentant, open to His instruction and love, and full of joy and praise.