Key verse: “Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight; so you are right in your verdict and justified when you judge.” Psalm 51:4
Our sins always affect others. This is obvious in the case of murder, adultery, theft and so on, but it is also true of our private sins. Whenever we sin, it affects those around us in at least the second degree. They say addicts always go through the following stages: denial of the problem, covering up the problem, lying to others about the problem and overcompensating to make up for the shortcomings and failures of the addict. I think the same could be said for every sin. It always makes us dysfunction to some extent. The Bible teaches that the things we hide in our heart flow out (See Luke 6:45). So whatever we try to hide in our heart, will always eventually leak out.
James 5:16 says, “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” When we wrong someone, we should ask for their forgiveness as soon as possible. In fact, Ephesians 4:26 commands us, “Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry.”
While sin always affects the people around us and we need to ask their forgiveness, when we sin it is firstly and foremost against God Himself. Do you remember the account of David and Bathsheba? What started as perhaps a chance observation soon grew into a full-blown sin. His initial secret sin of lust soon escalated into adultery. Then, in an effort to conceal that sin, David committed another. When David learned that Bathsheba was pregnant with his child, he contrived a plan of deceit to get Bathsheba’s husband, Uriah the Hittite, home from the war so he could sleep with his wife. If this plot worked, then all would assume the child Bathsheba was carrying was Uriah’s child. However, David’s plan failed, and eventually, this led David to work out a plan to have Uriah killed in battle. Now David was not only guilty of lust and adultery, but also of murder.
David had wronged so many people, yet in 2 Samuel 12:13, “David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.” He further wrote in Psalm 51:4, “Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight; so you are right in your verdict and justified when you judge.”
We like David must learn that firstly and foremost we have sinned against a Holy God and seek His forgiveness through repentance. It is only when we get our heart right with Him that we will be able to sort out our relationship with others and live the life God intends for us to live.