Pretending like temptation doesn’t exist in order to avoid engaging it just makes it harder to resist and it just makes you miserable, but calling it out directly and acknowledging it really changes things. Confession can be a form of therapy.
I’ve heard somewhere that since sin is mainly an issue of our thoughts, we can fight thoughts with words because we can’t think and speak at the same time. The initial thoughts themselves are not equivalent to the act of sinning, but if we dwell on sinful thoughts and don’t deal with them head on they will take over our lives and cause us to start engaging in sin in our hearts, and with our mouths and bodies. In addition, Hebrews 4:16 says to come boldly to the throne of grace so that we may obtain mercy. The boldness to come to God’s throne for mercy comes from the confidence that he loves us. We shouldn’t hide in our failure like Adam (Gen 3:8-11) but come boldly to ask for mercy like David (2 Samuel 12:13-25, Ps 51:1-19).
Hiding your flaws from yourself only makes life much more difficult. We should ask God to help us rather than trying to hide our sinful thoughts from ourselves or pretending the temptation doesn’t affect us emotionally. We will never overcome them if we pretend we don’t have a problem. This is why God sent the comforter/advocate, also known as Holy Spirit, as a gift for those who have accepted Christ (John 14:15-17, John 16:5-11). When we pray to God directly and ask him to help us with sin, we are addressing it and that actually has successful results. Otherwise, pretending we don’t have sin creates a self-righteousness sense of pride, making it easier to judge others when we should be helping them (Matt 7:1-6). We don’t overcome sin by burying it we overcome sin by conquering it, and Paul reminds us that we are more than conquerors (Rom 8:37). If we bury sin like a seed, then just grows like a weed. Weeds are not to be planted but uprooted (Matt 13:24-40). The thing most people fear is exposure to the light, however, it is the light that saves us.
John 3:16-18 says those who believe in Jesus will inherit eternal life and those who don’t will be condemned. The explanation is in verses 19-21 which says, “19 And the judgment is based on this fact: God’s light came into the world, but people loved the darkness more than the light, for their actions were evil. 20 All who do evil hate the light and refuse to go near it for fear their sins will be exposed. 21 But those who do what is right come to the light so others can see that they are doing what God wants.”
A Psalm from David on the subject:
Psalm 32:1 (NLT) Oh, what joy for those whose disobedience is forgiven, whose sin is put out of sight! 2 Yes, what joy for those whose record the Lord has cleared of guilt, whose lives are lived in complete honesty! 3 When I refused to confess my sin, my body wasted away, and I groaned all day long. 4 Day and night your hand of discipline was heavy on me. My strength evaporated like water in the summer heat. Interlude
5 Finally, I confessed all my sins to you and stopped trying to hide my guilt. I said to myself, “I will confess my rebellion to the Lord.” And you forgave me! All my guilt is gone. Interlude
6 Therefore, let all the godly pray to you while there is still time, that they may not drown in the floodwaters of judgment. 7 For you are my hiding place; you protect me from trouble. You surround me with songs of victory. Interlude
8 The Lord says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you. 9 Do not be like a senseless horse or mule that needs a bit and bridle to keep it under control.” 10 Many sorrows come to the wicked, but unfailing love surrounds those who trust the Lord. 11 So rejoice in the Lord and be glad, all you who obey him! Shout for joy, all you whose hearts are pure!