Thursday, October 6, 2011
Repentance that Costs
"I will not offer burnt offerings to the LORD my God that cost me nothing." - David at the threshing floor of Araunah in 2 Samuel 24.
David's life after the Bathsheba incident was no gravy train. When I look at his later years I wonder, what am I supposed to learn from David's slow deteriotion towards heaven? It's kind of weird and it doesn't fit with my "onwards" and "upwards" view of sanctification. Perhaps I have it backwards.
But at the end of 2 Samuel we catch a glimpse of David's heart. He was a man gifted at repentance. He knew that repentance must cost. And it does.
I've been learning a little about this myself. I often admit to people the wrong I've commited as a form of penance and quick acquital. I think of this as repentance. And I even get complimented for having a repentant spirit. I don't have so much of a repentant spirit as I have an impatient and restless one, one which is unwilling to pay the cost of feeling sadness over sin.
Along with David, I don't want to offer to God gifts that cost me nothing. God doesn't need our cast-offs. God doesn't serve as our great confessional in the sky, as if he needs to hear what we've done. For he says, "The sacrifices that are pleasing to God are a humble and contrite spirit."
I hope to someday understand the grace of costly repentance. For repentance under any other guise isn't real repentance anyway. At least that's what I think.
Boy Above: "Father, why am I in a box and why am I wearing a Hawaii Shirt?"