The first time I read this passage I wondered what it meant. When that happens it helps to look at the same passage in another translation. Here it is again from The Message:
“Count yourself lucky, how happy you must be—you get a fresh start, your slate’s wiped clean.
Count yourself lucky—God holds nothing against you and you’re holding nothing back from him.
When I kept it all inside, my bones turned to powder, my words became daylong groans.
The pressure never let up; all the juices of my life dried up.
Then I let it all out; I said, “I’ll make a clean breast of my failures to God.”
Suddenly the pressure was gone—my guilt dissolved, my sin disappeared.
Looking at the two translations next to each other, I had a much better understanding of what both the ancient psalmist and the modern translator are telling us.
We are all sinners whether in thought, word or deed. At the end of some days, reflecting on everything that occurred, we sometimes think we did a pretty good job of relating to others and dealing with our personal anxieties or concerns. Other days, well, we know how sinful we are.
The beautiful thing is that we know we are always forgiven, and that brings us peace.