I have been thinking about sin recently. Yes, you know that little 3 letter word which we don’t like to admit or talk about and which has an “I” in the middle? That word sIn.
We like to cover up our sin, or minimize it, that really it wasn’t that bad, that we were justified in our anger, in our unkindness, in our actions and in our reactions. But when we do that we don’t then come to God in confession or repentance!
We first have to acknowledge our sin, admit it, call it out for what it is.
Then we have to accept that really we have sinned, we are sinners and we may have hurt others by our actions, by our lashing out, by our selfishness. We may need to reflect or as Step 11 in Recovery programs says: “take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admit it”.
And then we have to do something about it, we need some action! We can’t just leave it there. So we go to God, we admit our sin, we admit the warped reasoning behind our sin, we seek God, we ask for forgiveness, we repent, we turn away from it, we take action, put boundaries in place which stop us falling into that same trap again and again.
Listen to what David says in Psalm 51:
Have mercy on me, O God, according to Your unfailing love;
according to Your great compassion blot out my transgressions.
Wash away my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.
David knows he has sinned, he calls on the faithfulness on God to forgive him, for he knows that faithful, loyal love of God and knows that God is compassionate and merciful and he appeals to that. But he is also wanting to be rid of the sin, he wants it ‘blotted out’, he wants it ‘washed away’ and he wants to be ‘cleansed’ from the filth and lingering guilt of it.
For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me.
He knows his sin, he is acknowledging it, he is facing it, calling it for what it is, not trying to cover it up or justify it.
Against You, You only, have I sinned and done what is evil in Your sight;
so You are right in Your verdict & justified when You judge.
As he falls on his knees confessing his sin, he realises that really it is against God Himself that he has sinned, the lack of trust, the fear, the self-reliance, the taking of what we want and want now are all sins against God.
Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me from Your presence or take Your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of Your salvation & grant me a willing spirit to sustain me.
Sin, comes between us and God, it mars that relationship we have with Him, we lose that connection, that sense of His presence with us. David knows that and that is what he is praying for here, that his relationship with God would be restored. Is that what we long for? Not just for the forgiveness of our sin, but that our friendship, our relationship with God would be sweet with nothing in the way marring it, not our sin and not our guilt.
Friends, let us keep short accounts with God. When we sin, let us promptly admit it, promptly confess, promptly make any amends required and promptly seek our relationship with God to be restored, to be sweet.
Acknowledge – I know my transgression
Accept – Against You, You only, have I sinned
Action – Restore to me the joy of Your salvation