Cone of Shame

Background Story: David was called a “man after God’s own heart” but he was very much a man just like you and me. He had great successes and great failures with times of great faith and times of doubt. In this Psalm, we see David after a failure with sin.

Read: Psalm 51: 1-17

Have mercy on me, O God,
    according to your unfailing love;
according to your great compassion
    blot out my transgressions.
Wash away all my iniquity
    and cleanse me from my sin.

For I know my transgressions,
    and my sin is always before me.
Against you, you only, have I sinned
    and done what is evil in your sight;
so you are right in your verdict
    and justified when you judge.
Surely I was sinful at birth,
    sinful from the time my mother conceived me.
Yet you desired faithfulness even in the womb;
    you taught me wisdom in that secret place.

Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean;
    wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
Let me hear joy and gladness;
    let the bones you have crushed rejoice.
Hide your face from my sins
    and blot out all my iniquity.

10 Create in me a pure heart, O God,
    and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
11 Do not cast me from your presence
    or take your Holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation
    and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.

13 Then I will teach transgressors your ways,
    so that sinners will turn back to you.
14 Deliver me from the guilt of bloodshed, O God,
    you who are God my Savior,
    and my tongue will sing of your righteousness.
15 Open my lips, Lord,
    and my mouth will declare your praise.
16 You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it;
    you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings.
17 My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit;
    a broken and contrite heart
    you, God, will not despise.

Big Idea: God Desires A Contrite Heart.

God created you for relationship with Him… not rules, religion, or regulations. He created you for relationship. As we pursue Him and live in this world, what do we do as a believer when we sin or fall short?

I’m not sure about you, but when I sin, my natural inclination is to hide like Adam in the Garden of Eden. As I hide, I wonder…”Is God mad or disappointed in me?” I feel like I should be one of those dogs wearing the cone of shame.

David was called, “a man after God’s own heart” yet he still had moments of personal failure. In this Psalm, David admits the seriousness of his sin. Let’s examine David’s response before we put on the cone of shame.

1- David Recognized It: “For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight.” There’s no use hiding. God sees our thoughts, actions, and motives. Just like David, when we sin, instead of hiding, we should come before God immediately with honesty confessing your sin before Him.

2- David Had Sorrow: In verse 17 David said, “My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise.” The word contrite means, “feeling regret and sorry for one’s sins or someone who feels terrible about committing a sin.” True repentance (turning from sin) must include true sorrow. Sorrow is the heart’s response to our action because we recognize that our sin takes us further away from God.

3-David Was Restored: “Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.” God created us for relationship with Him and is waiting with open arms. The Bible says that in Jesus, “we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace.” (Ephesians 1:7)

When we sin, let’s stop throwing on the cone of shame. Instead, Hebrew 4:16 says we can, “come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.” Understanding God’s amazing grace, we can have confidence to approach Him with a contrite heart asking for forgiveness through the Cross. Then we can leave our place of hiding and move forward with “the joy of your salvation” in relationship with Him.

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