“For I will declare my iniquity;
I will be in anguish over my sin.” – Psalm 38:18
The season of Lent for our lives begins with our hearts. It involves intentionally adopting first an attitude of sorrow and contriteness for our wrong thoughts, words and deeds. It involves imbibing a deep remorse for neglecting all the good we are called to do.
Yet it cannot be taken for granted that we would all naturally have this attitude of repentance. After all, sin and pride have such a strong grip of our hearts that we find it difficult to even say sorry. When we do wrong, we are more likely to find excuses to justify ourselves than to acknowledge our mistakes. We are more likely to blame others than to look inwardly into our hearts and accept our role in our shortcomings.
The Psalmist reveals to us this day that we need to start on a decisive path in both our heart and actions. Both are intimately related with each other. It is our responsibility to:
- Declare (confess) our sins to God and not hide them
- Sorrow over our disobedience, hardheartedness and lack of love
God has granted to us resources and grace necessary to live a godly life. (2 Peter 1:3) It is a mark of maturity to respond to God’s provision willingly and intentionally instead of waiting for Him to do everything for us. Let us take time to freely confess the sins in our lives and pray for the Spirit’s strength to reset our lives and walk ahead on the path of righteousness.
A prayer for Ash Wednesday:
Almighty and everlasting God,
you hate nothing that you have made
and forgive the sins of all those who are penitent.
Create and make in us new and contrite hearts, that, lamenting our sins
and acknowledging our wretchedness,
we may receive from you,
the God of all mercy, perfect forgiveness and peace;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.