Affairs of the Heart #10. “A broken and a contrite heart.”

Affairs of the Heart #10. “A broken and a contrite heart.”

Not all of us are sorry for all our sins all the time.

All of us need a Prophet Nathan in our lives. Someone who is sent by God to confront us with our sin the way Nathan did with King David (2 Samuel 12). Our sins may not be as grievous as David’s were, but, like his, ours too have their destructive flow on effects.

Some Christians spend their lives wondering if they are cursed because of their past sins. The good news for such souls is that Christ’s forgiveness is complete—what’s forgiven is forgiven!

However, the Christian who nurses historical grievances, or reminiscences about half-repented-of sins, had better pray that God sends a Nathan into their life; lest there be a hardening of the heart.

God can punish pride, but He cannot remove it. Humility and penitence are voluntary. If a man will not bow the knee to Jesus this side of Judgement Day, God will not make him; but he will on that Day!

In His mercy God is “patient…not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).

King David, having been convicted of his sins against Bathsheba and her husband, Uriah, repented. Later, when penning Psalm 51 he stressed that his sins were ultimately against his God. He wrote:

“Against You, You only, I have sinned

And done what is evil in Your sight” (Psalm 51:4).

As long as we see wrongdoing from a human perspective alone, we will never understand its destructive impact. The cross of Christ both exposes the horrors of sin and offers us deliverance from its punishment. What could possibly be appropriate for those convicted of their sinfulness to bring before God? David tells us:

“The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;

A broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise” (Psalm 51:17).

John Staiger


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