Our Surprising Conflict with Forgiveness

By December 30, 2009 Psalms

Psalm 32 reveals  a surprising conflict we  have with being forgiven and living as a forgiven person. Even though the very first verse of the psalm tells us: “Oh, the multiplied joys of the one whose transgressions are forgiven!”

We shun or avoid forgiveness by trying to hide our guilt. David was “silent about [his] sin”. Do you know how much energy it takes to hide your guilt? It requires constant, demanding diligence. Guilt is like a worm that eats away at our souls.

We shun forgiveness also because we still hope for personal moral achievement . We are glad to be forgiven, but sorry it’s necessary. If we could be totally honest with ourselves, we had rather have our righteousness than Christ’s. It takes a lot of energy to build our own righteousness! And it always fails.  We desparately need a righteousness which is ours by faith in Jesus Christ, the righteousness of God.

The great news of Psalm 32 and the gospels is God pursues us in our hiding and false hoping. He pursues us by making us miserable (:3-4) and by counseling us and teaching us (:8)

 So what is our response?

  1. Repent out loud with words           (:5)
  2. Believe by taking refuge in Him       (:6-7)
  3. Listen to Him in His word (:8)
  4. Draw near to God (:8 “lest he not come near you”)
  5. Forgive

Only forgiven people can truly forgive. This is especially true in our marriages.

Living as a forgiven person, in the constant need and experience of Christ’s forgiveness, frees us to constantly forgive others. No wonder then that David writes:  “Oh the multiplied joys of the one who is forgiven.”

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