Sunday, January 3, 2010

Mercy

Thoughts from my reading in Whiter Than Snow: Meditations on Sin and Mercy by Paul David Tripp.

Isn't this interesting. Rather than appealing to the mercy of the Lord in the face of my sin, what I actually do instead is function as my own defense lawyer and present a list of arguments for my own righteousness.
That paragraph really made me think. I know this is true especially in my human relationships. I try to justify what I did by pointing out the mistakes of the other person. Or maybe I'm afraid to admit my sin because I think it will be used against me: "I plead the fifth!"

What's actually true is that when I come to the Lord after I've blown it, I've only one argument to make. It's not the argument of the difficulty of the environment that I am in. It's not the argument of the difficult people that I'm near. It's not the argument of good intentions that were thwarted in some way. No, I have only one argument. It's right there in the first verse of Psalm 51 , as David confesses his sin with Bathsheba. I come to the Lord with only one appeal, his mercy. I've no other defense. I've no other standing. I've no other hope. I can't escape the reality of my biggest problem-me!
The cool thing is that I don't have to come as a beggar. Jesus died so that I could be forgiven. Mercy was all God's idea. What I need to do is admit the truth: I blow it, I can't fix it and I need mercy. I need to be forgiven and cleansed.

Question:
If you more quickly rested in God's mercy and, because of this, more readily admitted your sin, what practical changes in your life would result?
Less defensiveness for one, I would listen to criticism and look for the truth in it. I would be quicker to admit fault. I would realize that even if another person may use my confession against me, it's God I ultimately confess to and it's His mercy that I need.

Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions.
Psalm 51:1

Philip

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