Monday, July 13, 2009
Do you have a contrite heart?
Contrite is a word you don't hear too often today. Here's what it means:
Contrite: showing sincere remorse; filled with a sense of guilt and the desire for atonement; penitent.
How often do we see someone who's willing to admit a fault or a mistake and is really sorry for what they've done? Any politicians come to mind? Any movie stars? How about your friends or family? Most ot the time people want to make excuses for their behavior or try to make it out to be "no big deal" or "everyone does it". Usually we will only see remorse when someone in the public eye gets caught and their popularity is at stake. Even then, is it true remorse?
Sad to say, even among most Christians I know, true repentance and remorse are a rarity. People tend to hold onto certain sins which they think are not a big deal, sins they've convinced themselves are "acceptable". (Such as pornography, lying, gossiping, slander, hatred, wicked thoughts, lust, jealousy, envy, rage) Some people rationalize that as long as they aren't hurting anyone else, it's okay and besides, God can't expect them to be perfect!
What tiny sins are you holding onto today? Anything that you know is wrong but that you continue to do on a daily or weekly basis? I'm not talking about weaknesses you struggle with and are trying to get better with God's help. I'm talking about purposeful sinful acts and thoughts. Think it's no big deal? Listen to what God says:
Listen! The Lord’s arm is not too weak to save you, nor is his ear too deaf to hear you call? It’s your sins that have cut you off from God. Because of your sins, he has turned away and will not listen anymore. Isaiah 59:1-2
Having trouble hearing from God? Wondering if He's hearing your prayers?
What happens when you repent and have a truly contrite heart?
I will bless those who have humble and contrite hearts, who tremble at my word. Isaiah 66:2
The high and lofty one who lives in eternity, the Holy One, says this: I live in the high and holy place with those whose spirits are contrite and humble. I restore the crushed spirit of the humble and revive the courage of those with repentant hearts. Isaiah 57:15
The LORD is near to those who have a broken heart, and saves such as have a contrite spirit Psalm 34:18
What we need more in this country and in the church is true repentance, humility and remorse. If we don't learn to do this, my fear is God will turn away from us and no longer hear our prayers.