Psalm 6:1-3a (NLT)
Lord, don’t rebuke me in your anger or discipline me in your rage. Have compassion on me, Lord, for I am weak. Heal me, Lord, for my bones are in agony. I am sick at heart.
When was the last time you were truly and deeply broken over your sin? Do you have some specific sins in your life that have been there for years or even decades? Some character flaw that has marked your reputation and damaged many of your relationships? There are several psalms where we are given a glimpse into David’s deep brokenness regarding his sin and we need to be challenged to take a look in the mirror to see if we ever experience the same thing.
Pastor John Piper said, “What makes a person a Christian is not that he doesn’t get discouraged, and it’s not that he doesn’t sin and feel miserable about it. What makes a person a Christian is the connection that he has with Jesus Christ that shapes how he thinks and feels about his discouragement and his sin and guilt.” A solid Christian is brutally honest about the sin in his or her life…and they know that they deserve God’s rebuke and chastisement…but they also know that because of Christ, that sin has been forgiven already and paid for from an eternal perspective. That paradox should create some tension in your life…and from time to time, it should result in you being “sick at heart” like David was when he penned this psalm.
Now, the devil will take your sin and turn it into a chorus of condemnation because he is the father of lies (Jn. 8:44) and the accuser of the brethren (Rev. 12:10). BUT…because of Christ, condemnation has no place in your life as Romans 8:1 so gloriously and victoriously declares! Conviction, on the other hand, is a divine gift that God sends into your life via the Holy Spirit to lovingly rebuke and correct you. David knew what he deserved but counted on what he could not earn – God’s compassion. That is what led to his broken and contrite heart in light of his sin and disgrace. We should all learn to follow in his footsteps.