Broken and Contrite

"You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it;

you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings.

The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;

a broken and contrite heart,

O God, you will not despise."

--Psalm 51:16-17

Some people are quick to say "I'm sorry." The unfortunate thing is sometimes they are just as quick to commit the same sin for which they are "apologizing." The apology is then just a "get out of jail free" card. "If I say I'm sorry, I won't get punished as severely, right?" But, in the words of Han Solo, "That's not how apologies work!"

As David here is speaking of sacrifices, he comes down to the same conclusion that Samuel had told King Saul years before, "to obey is better than sacrifice, to pay attention is better than the fat of rams." (1 Samuel 15:22) David and Samuel are putting to rest the age-old wisdom that says, "It's easier to ask for forgiveness that to ask for permission." It may be easier, but that is not how it works in God's eyes.

You see, forgiveness is asked for from a broken and contrite heart. A broken heart is one that realizes that a wrong has been done and how that wrong has hurt so many. A contrite heart humbly seeks forgiveness, knowing it is undeserved but needed. As we come before God broken and contrite, He WILL forgive. And if He will forgive, then I must forgive as well.

But I also must come to Him and to others broken and contrite when I have sinned against them. (Note I said "when" and not "if") Remember, to obey is better than sacrifice. God would rather we always obeyed, but be thankful He will forgive when those sin moments occur.

As we come to Him broken and contrite.



Northwestern United Methodist Church

232 4th Ave. 

Mellette, SD 57461


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