Mourning Our Sin – A Lesson from King David
In my last post I wrote about mourning our sin. This type of mourning is living with sensitivity to our sinful actions that break God’s heart, and then responding with godly sorrow.
If you need some instruction on what this kind of mourning might look like, I suggest reading all of Psalm 51. Look at just a portion of what King David said after he realized his terrible sin:
Have mercy upon me, Oh God, according to Your lovingkindness; according to the multitude of Your tender mercies, blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. Again You, You only, have I sinned, and done this evil in Your sight—that You may be found just when You speak, and blameless when You judge . . . Create in me a clean heart, Oh God, and renew a steadfast 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 uphold me by Your generous Spirit . . . The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken and a contrite heart—these, Oh God, You will not despise. Psalm 51:1–4, 10–12, 17
David sought God’s comfort. He confessed his sins. He put his face down in fear of the Lord and asked for mercy. He vehemently desired for God to blot out his transgressions and cleanse him. He wanted to be restored and have God create in him a clean heart, steadfast spirit, and the joy of God’s salvation. He didn’t whitewash his sin. He didn’t try to make excuses for it or hide. He asked God for mercy.
It is when we have this kind of spirit that the Father of mercy, the God of all comfort, comes and visits us. This is when He shows up with everything we need and want Him to be and brings comfort to us. Knowing this can change our lives. We don’t need to walk around like a defeated sourpuss or the most miserable person in the world. But we also must not live a flippant Christian life, as if our sin is just not that big of a deal because Jesus covered it. We can start living in that balanced place of mourning over our sin and rejoicing in the comfort of God.
When we have godly sorrow over our sin, we can receive forgiveness and cleansing. We can say, “No” to condemnation. We can say, “No” to this world that wants us to ignore our sin. We can confess, forgive, and be cleansed. We can mourn and receive God’s comfort.