Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you are proved right when you speak and justified when you judge.
-Psalm 51:4 (NIV)
After King David was exposed of his affair with Bathsheba, he expressed his sorrow through the words of this psalm. The domino effect of his sinful choices had sent piercing ripples throughout his own life as well as others.
David could have written, “Against Bethsheba have I sinned,” and that would be true. He took advantage of her sexually. He could have added, “Against Uriah have I also sinned.” Another fact, since David plotted his murder. He could have even threw in, “Against Joab too have I sinned,” since he made him force Uriah to the frontlines of battle.
If David had written his psalm using those examples, no one would argue with it. But David was honest and knew that no one had experienced more pain from his sin than God. Ultimately, David rebelled against him.
Sometimes when you sin, it only affects you. On the other hand, sometimes your sin affects others. And sometimes it affects you and others.
But your sin always affects God because it always breaks his heart. That’s why acknowledging our sin is an issue of our relationship of God more so than just our relationship with others. And thankfully David understood that.
Therefore, we’ve got to be careful when we start justifying certain behavior with comments like, “It’s not hurting anyone!” Because there will always be sinful things that don’t seem to do any damage to others on the surface. Even though that may be true, a better question is, “Is this hurting God?”
David couldn’t be more clear. With any sinful action, the answer is assuredly, “Yes.”
I think that perspective is the key to overcoming the battle with sin. The point isn’t that we have a sin problem per se… It’s that we have a God problem.
What I mean is that many people claim to love God above all others. But if you truly love God, will you blatantly choose to do things that cause him pain? When all is said and done, we must realize that our sinful choices are a direct punch into his gut. Whether they hurt someone on earth or not, God is still wounded.
Despite what we try to convince ourselves, our sin isn’t truly about ourselves or others. At its core, it is an issue between us and God.
In a moment of true repentance, David said it best… Against God, God only, have we sinned.