"Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven,whose sin is covered" —Psalm 32:1 ESV
I just got back from evening worship at SIL a couple hours ago. There, the speaker for the day talked to us about repentance. It can be a big shortcoming for missionaries and their families, that they lack in a regular spirit of repentance. The church community at home puts long-term missionaries up on a spiritual pedestal because they've supposedly given up their lives in some special way, to some further level than their fellow believers. They're seen as a little more right with God than the other saints. And because there's a half-truth to that, that the missionary demographic tends to be more spiritually engaged than the laity of the church, missionaries internalize others' view that they've spiritually ahead.
And when you think of yourself as a spiritual success, it's really hard to recognize and confess your spiritual failures. It's not spiritually healthy. David writes about confessing,
"For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer" —Psalm 32:3–4 ESV
But, though it is initially painful to recognize our sin and turn from it, when "I acknowledged my sin to [God], ... [He] forgave the iniquity of my sin." God lifted his heavy hand from me, and I rejoiced.
How great is our God.