He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy. This verse really gets to the heart of many of our problems as Christians. The real problem for us is not that we sin, but that we tend to cover up our sins, which leads to poverty of spirit, dullness of thought, and general ineffectiveness as a servant of Christ.

What is it to cover your sins? The word indicates an attempt to conceal something that you don’t want to be seen. It is used of covering the body. To cover is not always a bad thing. We are told that love covers a multitude of sins (Prov. 10:12; I Peter 4:8). That is a good thing! But sins of our own heart are not to be covered up if we are going to experience prosperity in our Christian life.

There are several ways that we go about covering up our sins. First, there is the known sin in your life that you are just not ready to eliminate. It may be your little secret. No one but you knows about it and  you have gotten comfortable with it. You kind of like it. You have learned to mask the guilt feelings and continue to embrace this sin in the privacy of your own heart, or perhaps acting it out in the privacy of your life. You need to hear the word of God, "He that covereth his sins shall not prosper..."

Second, you may be burdened about a particular area of your life that is sin, but you do not view the matter as sin and so cover the seriousness of the issue by ignoring it. You cover it in your own mind by not identifying the sin for what it really is – an awful offense against a holy God. There is no sin that is light and worthy of holding on to. Every sin is destructive in some way. There will be no prosperity in your life as long as you take your sins lightly. Only as you see your sin for what it is will you confess and forsake it and enjoy the mercy of God and prosperity.

Third, you may cover the real issue of your heart (sin) by complicated reasoning. Instead of facing the real issue (sin), you construct complicated scenarios in your mind and bring in all sorts of other related circumstances in your life to cover the sin. Sometimes you do this to the point that you really don’t know what the issue really is! Example: instead of confessing to bitterness of spirit, or jealousy, or selfishness, or ungodly anger, etc., you exercise your mind about this person and that person, what has been said or not said, done or not done, until your emotions are in a pit and you can’t see the light of the truth anymore! At this point the problem may seem to be others or your circumstances and the sin or sins of your own heart and life are covered up.

Fourth, you cover sins by making excuses that enable you to avoid confessing the sin as sin. In a book  entitled, War of Words, pg. 126,127, Paul David Tripp comments, "…your heart has been exposed to truth and you have thought, done, or said what is wrong, you only have two options. You can confess your sin and place yourself once again under the forgiving grace of Christ, or you can erect some system of self-justification that makes what God calls sin acceptable to your conscience. How good we are at doing this! We recast events. ("I wasn’t really angry, I was trying to emphasize my point.") We claim physical weakness. ("I wasn’t feeling well, so I just wasn’t myself.") We appeal to the situation. ("It was just one of those days!") All this is done in an attempt to excuse what God says is inexcusable…The weeds of unconfessed sin choke out the life of the soul." (emphasis mine)

Do you see the result of covering your sins? He that covereth his sins shall not prosper. To prosper is to become strong and flourishing! When you cover up your sins you experience everything but prosperity. You will find confusion of mind and heaviness of spirit that will hinder you from a proper evaluation of life around you. You will not be as effective in resolving issues at home and at work. Relationships will be strained because you are not thinking clearly. You will experience emptiness from the word of God and will not be able to see or sense the glory of Jesus Christ. You will have a season of fruitlessness and will begin to question your relationship with God. This is a horrible place for a Christian to be, and all because you cover your sins.

You need to see the benefit of recognizing sin, exposing it, confessing it, and forsaking it! There is mercy!! …but whoso confesseth and forsaketh shall have mercy! You must identify the sin in your life and then confess it to God (and to persons if against them) and forsake it. Stop the confusing reasoning process that would cloud the real issue of your heart. See sin for what it is. There is mercy and prosperity for those who recognize sin, confess it and forsake it. Resolve that by the grace of God you will no longer cover up the particular sin that has plagued you for so long. If it rises up again, confess it and contend against it as the enemy of your soul and spiritual prosperity that it is.

It is incredible how quickly emotions can change, thought processes clear up and relationships are healed when a person confesses his sin and forsakes it. Sin is at the root of spiritual poverty. Your sin and my sin, not the other person’s sins! Here is where we need to sharpen our thinking! If tensions rise between you and another, or if everything around you seems to be against you, rest assured that the problem most likely lies within your own mind and heart. Deal with your sins. Don’t cover them up by blaming others or pointing the finger of your mind to accuse all else around you.

What is keeping you from confessing your sins? Why would you hang on to sins knowing that they are the source of your spiritual poverty? Is it that you don’t really want to forsake them? Are you more in love with your sin than you are the mercy and prosperity promised by God? Oh, what a dark night of the soul such reasoning reveals! Come out of such a dark place to the light of God’s mercy. There is prosperity to be experienced by those who confess and forsake their sins!

Or, are you too proud to say that you are wrong, that you have failed, that you have come short, that you have sinned against God and perhaps one of His creatures? Will your cover be blown? Will your heart be exposed? Is it possible that you continue to cover your sins because you are just simply too proud to confess that you have failed? There is no prosperity for you if you continue to cover your sins. Be clothed with humility so that you might confess and forsake your sins and once again rejoice in the mercy of God and walk in the way of spiritual prosperity.

Brethren – this is precisely the road to recovery, restoration and victory! There is mercy with God for those who confess and forsake! Guilt, dullness, lethargy, confusion, separation from joy, bondage and general uselessness in the Kingdom of God is the alternative! He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.

Kyle White, Pastor
May, 2005