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“You can pay now or you can pay later—but later is more expensive.”

I am an expert at putting off things I hate to do. Topping that list these days? Trips to the county tax assessor’s office. Every new-to-us car means the same thing: a long drive to wait in long lines only to learn I’ve messed up my paperwork—and have to come back and do it all over again.

Earlier this year we made an unexpected car purchase—and ran into an unanticipated paperwork snafu. We kept finding new errors. Embarrassed and fearful, I tried to postpone the inevitable. Meanwhile, my dread only increased as the weeks went by.

Finally–only because I didn’t want to pay for a ticket for an unregistered vehicle—I resolved to take care of it. I presented myself before the county clerk and confessed, “I’m sorry this took me so long. It seemed that everything that could go wrong did. Now I’m here to make it right.”

And so I did—to the tune of $150 in additional fines and penalties.

Confession is just as easy to put off. After all, admitting we failed is scary and embarrassing. It’s tempting to make excuses like, “I’m waiting for the right time.” Meanwhile, the cost of unconfessed sin keeps accruing. Then the “day of reckoning” arrives—and sends us into sticker shock.

But we were not created for debt. Thankfully, God has a plan for credit recovery:

Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy. Proverbs 28:13 (NIV)

Blessed are those whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the one whose sin the Lord will never count against them. Romans 4:7-8 (The Voice)