The stubborn mule

Psalm 32 and 1 John 1.5-10

Have you ever experienced someone who believed their persistent and rigid refusal to accept they are wrong was a sign of strength?   Where this occurs it not only harms those around them, it damages the person them self.  It exposes their own weakness and frailty and can lead to a warped perception of reality.  Internally great mental and spiritual stresses are set up.  Frequently lasting damage to relationships occur because the means to resolve the problem has been denied.

God counsels us in Psalm 32, ‘Do not be like the horse or the mule which has no understanding but must be controlled by bit and bridle.’ v9  The pressure of one’s deceit when one is in self denial eats away internally and can feel like a heavy weight upon you.  David describes this, ‘When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long.  For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was dried up as by the heat of the summer.’ vv3,4  This is highly destructive in our human relationships and also in our relationship with God.

What is the pressure relief valve in such a case?  It is the acknowledgement of the problem.  That opens up a pathway for resolution.  This is the case in our interpersonal reactions and also between ourselves and God.  David says, ‘I acknowledge my sin to you, and I did not cover my iniquity; I said I will confess my transgressions to the Lord, and you forgave the iniquity of my sin.  The apostle John makes the same point that our relationship with God is restored through Jesus’ sacrifice. ‘If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.’ 1John 1.9

David experienced the relief and joy of being forgiven and Psalm 32 was written to celebrate that and to guide others into what he had learnt from bitter experience.  So, he opened the psalm with, ‘Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.  Blessed is the man against whom the Lord counts no iniquity and in whose spirit there is no deceit.’ vv2,3

Oh how I need you – Sons and Daughters

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