Do You Weep over Sin Just Because You Fear Punishment?
Against You, You only, have I sinned, and done this evil in Your sight. Psalm 51:4
Two kinds of wounds can come to the human psyche: guilt and sorrow. I was talking with a precious member of our church whose husband had died. Her heart was wounded by sorrow but not guilt. Sorrow, you see, is a clean wound. Though it’s deep and raw, a clean wound will heal. But guilt is a dirty wound. It festers. It soils the soul, saturates the mind, and stings the conscience. It will never heal until it is cleansed.
David’s great sin was the latter kind—the one that soils the soul. When David committed adultery with Bathsheba, he cried out against the sin, knowing he had done evil before a holy God. You see, David had not only sinned against Uriah, Bathsheba, and his own family, but his sin was an affront to a Holy God who loved him and had redeemed him.
With a guilt-laden conscience, David wrote Psalm 51, crying out for cleansing.
If all you're afraid of is punishment for your sin, I doubt you've been saved. A child of God weeps not primarily because of punishment, but because they’ve disgraced God. “Not only did I break Your law, Father. I broke Your heart.” That's the difference between a slave and a son. A slave fears his master's whip. A son fears the father's displeasure.
When we sin against God, we break His heart, and that should break ours. Are you willing to truly repent? Pray this prayer: “Lord, may my heart rejoice with those things that gladden Your heart, and Lord, may my heart be broken with that which breaks Your heart. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”
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