Thursday, December 19, 2013

A Broken Heart

"The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, You will not despise." Psalm 51:17

Both David's broken spirit and broken heart are found pleasing in the sight of the Lord in this passage. As an onlooker, I see him pouring out his heart before God in repentance, truly sorry for the sin of adultery he commited with Bathsheba. Here, near the end of the Psalm, he is humbling himself and professing his willingness to do whatever might please the Lord as recompense for his sin. He knows that sacrifices and burnt offerings will not suffice. David comes to realize it is a heart broken over sin and his sincere remorse that God is looking for.

broken - adjective
     reduce to fragments; ruptured; torn; fractured; changing direction abruptly

contrite - adjective
     caused by showing sincere remorse; filled with a sense of guilt and the desire for atonement

When pride is crushed and the spirit is broken, God often gets our full attention. His Word says in Proverbs 16:18, "Pride goes before destruction; a haughty spirit before a fall." Our pride (which itself is sin) and the sin that ensues from it, breaks the Father's heart. It is when we fall and lay pride aside that we tend to look up at Him. 

Pride, just for the record, goes two ways. It means thinking too much, or too little, about one's self. We are prideful when we think we deserve ...x-y-z. We are also prideful when we think too little of ourselves to admit we have any needs. It is when either of those are crushed, and we truly lament over the sins our pride caused us to commit that Jesus is pleased with our heart's condition. He is pleased when our hearts are broken over sin. More than anything, He wants the result of our brokenness to be an abrupt change in direction, where we turn and follow Him. It is in that place of humility that God can mold and shape our lives to look more like His.

Thank You Jesus for the ways You've broken me, changed me, and made me more like You. Help me not to think too much or too little of myself and to find my confidence solely in You. Keep me far from sin and close to You, my Creator, my Father, my Friend. I love You and ask this in Jesus' name, amen.

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