Im Sorry. I Was Wrong. Please Forgive Me.

I'm sorry. I was wrong. Please forgive me.

I do not know if you have ever come face to face with your self-righteousness, but this week I did and it was ugly.
A little context – we were in staff chapel on Tuesday and Chris led us in a time of ministering to the Lord. No agenda other than to minister to Him – praise Him for who He is and what He has done. As I started to sing, I opened my Bible to Psalm 145 – the last of the Davidic psalms and one full of praise. (David uses 10 different words for praise in the Psalm – one just wasn’t enough.) I wanted to read it to Him. Proclaiming His goodness – just enjoying being in His presence.
But the Lord redirected me to read Psalm 15, another song of David. It would not leave my mind: Psalm 15.
So, I turned to Psalm 15 (this is the New Living Translation):

Who may worship in your sanctuary, Lord?
    Who may enter your presence on your holy hill?
Those who lead blameless lives and do what is right,
    speaking the truth from sincere hearts.
Those who refuse to gossip
    or harm their neighbors
    or speak evil of their friends.
Those who despise flagrant sinners,
    and honor the faithful followers of the Lord,
    and keep their promises even when it hurts.
Those who lend money without charging interest,
    and who cannot be bribed to lie about the innocent.
Such people will stand firm forever.

I admit to you that I had been very guilty of gossiping and not honoring the reputation of those around me lately. My mouth had not honored the faithful followers of the Lord. The Lord, in His kindness and mercy convicted me that I may confess my sins and repent. But also, that I may stand firm and love others well. Moments like this make me understand the phrase “sweet conviction of the Spirit”. It is sweet, it is kind, it is full of love. For we are no longer slaves to sin and the work that He started will not stop until it is finished.
I repented and, the next day I went to apologize to those I potentially hurt with my words and my poor example. And you know what, it wasn’t fun.
“I am sorry. I was wrong. Please forgive me” are hard words to say.. well at least they are for me. But you know what, that confession and repentance brings me closer to Him – dying to myself brings me closer to Him. And isn’t that beautiful.
This moment of coming before the Lord with praise – ministering to Him with the little I have - it led me and leads me to confession and repentance. Because He loves me. Because He will not stop the work He started.
As I write I am filled with gratitude for a community of people who hold me accountable – who point me to Jesus – who forgive me when I fail to be the loving neighbor I am called to be. My prayer for you this week is that you have the same kind of community. If you do not, ask the Lord to provide this for you – ask Him where to go and what to do. Fellowship is important.
This is the other prayer I am praying:
Lord, have mercy on me, a sinner. Thank you for your mercy and forgiveness. Thank you for Jesus. Please teach me – show me – guide me – convict me. That I may dwell on your Holy Hill and worship in your sanctuary. That I may stand firm. Teach me how to love you with my whole heart and love my neighbor as myself.
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