Then I will teach transgressors your ways, so that sinners will turn back to you. Deliver me from the guilt of bloodshed, O God, you who are God my Savior, and my tongue will sing of your righteousness. Open my lips, Lord, and my mouth will declare your praise. You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise. May it please you to prosper Zion, to build up the walls of Jerusalem. Then you will delight in the sacrifices of the righteous, in burnt offerings offered whole; then bulls will be offered on your altar.
Psalm 51 is David’s prayer for forgiveness after his sin of adultery. In this prayer we find seven important truths of true repentance. Here is the final step.
- Repentance is more than lip service.
There are two types of repentance. One is called “attrition.” This describes a remorse caused by fear of punishment. The Bible calls this “worldly sorrow.” This common type of repentance says, “I’m sorry I got caught.” Attrition is lip service repentance.
A second type of repentance is called “contrition.” Contrition involves a deep remorse for having offended the holy God. It involves a full confession without cover up. It does not blame others or rationalize sin. This is true confession. As David says, “…a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise.”
Father, bring me to a repentance of contrition. Don’t let me rationalize my sin. Help me to own it and bring it to You with a broken and contrite heart. In Jesus’ name. Amen.