Have mercy upon me, O God, according to your great mercy: and according to the multitude of your compassions blot out my transgression. Wash me throughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I know my transgression: and my sin is ever before me.” (Ps 50/51: 1-3)

Is this a “negative” and damaging attitude toward life, to have “my sin” always “before me”? It can be, if I or some other created being is the focus of my universe. In that case, my sins and shortcomings can only be tossed to and fro inside my head, in the distorted and limited light of human opinion. But if God is my focus, – the true God of “great mercy,” – then my own failings, seen and indeed “known” in His light, become assets. I open up to His grace and His strength by seeing my weakness; I become more capable of reaching out for, and receiving, His help, by recognizing my own powerlessness.

So let me be strong in Him today, rather than be weakened and discouraged, going around in circles in my own head. Let me not be afraid to “know my transgression,” but place it where it belongs, in the all-powerful hands of a God of “great mercy.” He can, and does, “wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,” if I let Him. Glory be to Him.

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