Monday, September 22, 2008

Taking Responsibilty For Ourselves

You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.Psalm 51:16-17

I have messed up. She's messed up. We've all messed up.
When I allow God to examine my heart, I discover problems in my life. We all will. Some are painful. Some will be embarrassing. Some may be surprising; and some could be very difficult to overcome. The question we need to ask, though, is this: What should we do about these things when God brings them to our attention?

To help find an answer, there's no better place to look than at the life of David, the shepherd boy who God hand-picked to be King of Israel. He committed some really serious sins. First, he stole another man's wife. Then in order to cover it up, he murdered her husband, his loyal friend. When God confronted David about his sin, David responded the right way. He was heart-broken to realize how far he had strayed from God's ways. He wept with remorse and pleaded with God for forgiveness. He turned from his sin; he did not try to excuse himself, or minimize what he had done.

Pride often keeps us from responding to God with humility. We want to justify what we have done or rationalize it away: "it really wasn't that bad," or "it was someone else's fault." Those kind of responses are not what God is looking for. Only a "broken and contrite" heart can accept the enormity of the sin committed and realize its need for God.

Coming to a place of humility and brokenness is not easy; it is a very vulnerable position. But God is merciful and ready to restore you. To help you through those times, choose one of these verses to memorize:
Psalm 147:3 – He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.
Psalm 34:18 – The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
Prayer for today:
Lord, I want to own up to my sins today. I ask your forgiveness for the wrongs I've committed against others and against you. Help me to live in humility with a broken and contrite heart, so you can restore me to a place of peace and reconciliation. In Christ's name I pray, Amen.