In May of 1948 three men robbed a bank in Hoyt, Kansas, getting away with $1,000. Shortly thereafter two men were killed in a car wreck, and police thought they were the robbers and the case was closed. Four years later, however, something unusual happened. On a Sunday morning at the Seward Avenue Baptist Church a young man named Al Johnson stepped to the pulpit and revealed to the congregation that the day before he had gone to the district attorney and confessed his role in the crime.
“I thought about the bank robbery many times,” Johnson, who was a teenager when the crime occurred, said, “I prayed about it and asked the Lord to give me an answer. It seemed that He would give me only one answer and that was to give myself up.” Johnson also revealed that he had borrowed the money to repay the bank his share of the stolen funds. The statute of limitations had expired, but Johnson said that even if it meant going to prison, he could not keep the secret any longer. Johnson agreed to help the authorities locate the other two men, who had not been, as was previously believed, the men involved in the car accident.
Sometimes we think the best approach is to hide our sin, either to avoid embarrassment and exposure, or to avoid the potential consequences. That approach never works in the long run. There is a God who sees everything—nothing is ever hidden from His view. His hatred of sin is so intense that He will never allow us to prosper by covering our sin. The toll of hidden sin on the physical, emotional, and spiritual health of the sinner is vast. It is far better for us to confess and seek the mercy and forgiveness of God.
“He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.”—Proverbs 28:13