"not only does the gospel prepare me to face my sin, it also frees me up to do so. Facing our sin causes us to feel guilty. Of course we feel guilty because we are guilty. And if I believe, consciously or unconsciously, that God still counts my guilt against me, my instinctive sense of self-protection forbids me to acknowledge my sin and guilt, or, at the least, I seek to minimize it. But we cannot begin to deal with a particular manifestation of sin, such as anger or self-pity, until we first openly acknowledge its presence and activity in our lives. So I need the assurance that my sin is forgiven before I can even acknowledge it, let alone begin to deal with it."
Jerry Bridges, Respectable Sins