Psalms 51:3 For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me.
I was reading about an ex-megachurch pastor today that feels he’s being discriminated against by his former church and the association. This man was caught up in a scandal after he committed sin. He resigned in shame and entered an agreed upon restoration program which was to last possibly “many years”. After a few months he left the program and started a new church. Now he is calling the church, it’s elders and Christians in general hypocrites for being unforgiving. It seems to me the man is still seeking after his own will, not the will of God by his actions and statements.
After David sinned with Bathsheba, pretty much breaking all the Commandments in the process, God did forgive him. But He forgave after David came with a truly broken heart and repentant spirit. And there were consequences for David’s actions; he didn’t get to build the Temple, it was left to his son, Solomon to do.
While God will forgive us, we do have to be like David was: with heart felt, grief stricken, conviction and an attitude of repentance. When you read Psalm 51 you can feel the contrition David felt. And as sorry as he was, or we might be, there may still be consequences to our actions and for our sin.
The lesson we need to learn (as I think the former pastor I began this writing with needs to learn) is that yes, there are penalties for our sin at times. But God is merciful if we will confess them and turn from them. And His forgiveness is the important thing in the long run. He can and often will take our failings and turn them into some thing for His glory. But only of we are obedient.