These first eight verses of Psalm 38 don’t make very happy reading. But I have chosen to write about them today because I have been reminded of my ongoing slavery to sin. In the time I have been a committed Christian, I have grown more and more aware of my sins and now it does actually does feel as if my guilt might overwhelm me sometimes. I say this because it wasn’t always the case. Until only a few years ago I never imagined myself as a sinner and I certainly didn’t worry about it. Now I do, and my awareness of the sin in my heart can be a real source of sorrow at times. But today, a friend sent me a text message with a passage from Ephesians for me. In it, Paul speaks of the need to “throw off your old sinful nature…. Instead, let the spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy.” (Ephesians 4:22-24 NLT)
I find that I am still holding on to my old sinful nature as if it were an old, familiar comfort blanket. Perhaps it is time to grow up and trust that God really does want to see me clothed in his righteousness and holy.
Psalms 38:1-8 NLT
1 O Lord, don’t rebuke me in your anger
or discipline me in your rage!
2 Your arrows have struck deep,
and your blows are crushing me.
3 Because of your anger, my whole body is sick;
my health is broken because of my sins.
4 My guilt overwhelms me—
it is a burden too heavy to bear.
5 My wounds fester and stink
because of my foolish sins.
6 I am bent over and racked with pain.
All day long I walk around filled with grief.
7 A raging fever burns within me,
and my health is broken.
8 I am exhausted and completely crushed.
My groans come from an anguished heart.
Although I very often feel as if I stink because of the sins that still fester in my heart, I will make it my goal to let them go. I am beginning to realise that there is nothing that Satan can tempt me with that will ever be better than what God has already promised me. And so, while I am getting much closer to living with less and less sin polluting my heart, I must also make it my goal to forgive myself as and when I fail. I must remember that I am not guilty in God’s eyes when I ask for his forgiveness, and not only that, but the Holy Spirit can and will help me to turn away from sin before temptation gets the better of me.
Job 8:1-11:20, 1 Corinthians 15:1-28, Psalms 38:1-22, Proverbs 21:28-29