A few weeks ago, Josh had the first relapse (that we are aware of) in more than a year. He found himself in a bar where he had a couple beers, and then he called one of his teammates. Josh publicly confessed his relapse and, in a twelve minute speech, admitted his own responsibility and pleaded for patience and forgiveness. The general fan consensus was acceptance and a willingness to forgive. A few days later, a sports commentator wrote that fans are willing to forgive Josh Hamilton because of the color of his skin. And Texas Rangers fans across the region flew into an uproar. The commentator did not understand a very basic concept of life.
Proverbs 28:13 reads, "Whoever conceals his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them will find mercy" (HCSB). With Josh Hamilton, fans are willing to offer forgiveness because Josh doesn't attempt to hide his faults. He confesses them, takes responsibility for them, and then takes steps to ensure they don't happen again. One of the things that demonstrates Josh's efforts to beat back his addictions is that, after years of cocaine and numerous hard-drugs running through his veins, Josh felt the need to confess a couple beers. He didn't say, "Hey, it was only a couple beers. Lighten up!" He said, "I had a few beers. I shouldn't have done it. It was wrong and I'm sorry I let my fans down. I am going to do better."
One of the biggest mistakes we can make in life is to try to conceal our sins. When we try to hide our mistakes and keep people from finding out, it creates an attitude of paranoia in us that adds to the constant pressure we are under and makes us more susceptible to our weaknesses. When we hide the sin in our lives, we are much more likely to begin to accept that nothing is wrong as long as we don't get caught. Hiding sin creates two separate lives that we have to keep divorced from each other at all costs. But confessing sin, admitting what we have done and taking responsibility for it, breaks down those barriers which create dual identities. Confessing our sins relieves us from the pressure that comes with knowing the truth of Numbers 32:23 that warns us, "Be sure your sin will find you out" (NIV).
The thought of people finding out about our sins and mistakes may be scary. The thought of what hiding them does to us should be scarier. Be willing to own up to your mistakes and take responsibility for them. By confessing them, you are much more likely to find mercy.