Owning up (16-09-21)
Have mercy on me, O God, because of your unfailing love.
Because of your great compassion, blot out the stain of my sins.
Wash me clean from my guilt. Purify me from my sin.
Against you, and you alone, have I sinned; I have done what is evil in your sight.
Purify me from my sins, and I will be clean; wash me and I will be whiter than snow.
Don’t keep looking at my sins, remove the stain of my guilt.
Create in me a clean heart, O God.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and make me willing to obey you.
(Psalm 51: extracts)
Rather belatedly, we recently finished watching the six series of Line of Duty.
Anti-corruption unit 12 (AC12) was tasked with identifying and prosecuting ‘bent coppers’.
A recurring experience amongst the ‘bent coppers’ was a mistaken action committed earlier in their lives. An organised crime group (‘OCG’) would use this as leverage against them, or incentivise them to repeat the indiscretion.
We have all acted in ways that we prefer not to have done, and feelings of guilt and remorse often resurface when similar situations arise. It is unlikely to be an OCG which is leveraging this guilt and making us feel wretched. It is more likely to be Satan who is making us feel unworthy of salvation, and tempting us with mere earthly benefits.
We need to clean our slate of sinful actions and start afresh.
Fortunately for us, we know from the bible that God forgives. Through faith in Jesus Christ and his sacrifice, we know that we can repent to God, and he will remove all sin from our heart.
Such repentance to God was not an option portrayed in Line of Duty. The ‘bent coppers’ typically ended up dead or imprisoned.
But we all know from the bible that’s what happens anyway if we don’t confess our sins to God.
A prayer (Hannington family service sheet)
God our Father, we come to you in sorrow for our sins;
For turning away from you and ignoring your will in our lives;
For behaving just as we wish without thinking about you;
For failing you by what we do and think and say;
For letting ourselves be drawn away from you by temptation in the world around us;
For living as if we were ashamed to belong to your Son.
who loved the world so much that he sent his Son to be our Saviour,
forgive us our sins
and make us holy to serve him in the world.
Through Jesus Christ our Lord.