Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. Against you, you alone, have I sinned, and done what is evil in your sight, so that you are justified in your sentence and blameless when you pass judgment. Indeed, I was born guilty, a sinner when my mother conceived me. You desire truth in the inward being; therefore teach me wisdom in my secret heart. Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones that you have crushed rejoice. Hide your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me. Do not cast me away from your presence, and do not take your holy spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and sustain in me a willing spirit. Then I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners will return to you. Deliver me from bloodshed, O God, O God of my salvation, and my tongue will sing aloud of your deliverance. O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise. For you have no delight in sacrifice; if I were to give a burnt offering, you would not be pleased. The sacrifice acceptable to God is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise. (Psalm 51:1-17, NRSV)
I know my sin better than anyone. The things I have done that are wrong, hurtful, because it builds me up, tears someone else down. I also know the things I didn’t do that I should have or could have. My sin is ever before me. And if I was God I would hold all of that against me.
But thankfully God is more forgiving of us than we are of ourselves sometimes!
God is gracious. He gives us mercy.
As the author of this psalm knows, God will create in us a clean heart, a heart worthy of His presence. He will not take His spirit from us, or leave us alone.
Even in the mire, and all we know that we have committed. God will not leave us.
Give Him your heart and let Him reside in you!