Am I insignificant and worthless? This question represents the greatest threat to our personhood. It is such a threat that we will fight to avenge any dishonor. Why? Because we have a sense that our detractor might be right about us!
The Psalmist David proclaimed the benefits of those who are okay in God’s eyes:
- Rejoice in the LORD and be glad, you RIGHTEOUS; sing, all you who are UPRIGHT IN HEART! (Psalm 32:11)
But we fear that we are not good enough – that we are not among the righteous. Sadly, this fear fuels obsessive introspection – “Am I upright? Don’t my many moral failures disqualify me? Do I have the approval of others? I am selfish and self-absorbed…”
Well, what does it mean to be “righteous” and “upright?” King David had just committed a series of horrid sins including adultery and murder. For these, God afflicted him. However, David finally broke down and confessed his sins to God. As a result, he experienced release:
- Blessed is he whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man whose sin the LORD does not count against him and in whose spirit is no deceit. When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer. Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, "I will confess my transgressions to the LORD"-- and you forgave the guilt of my sin. (Psalm 32:1-5)
Righteousness is not a matter of attaining moral perfection. David was miles away from this. However, when he confessed his sins to God, he was received as “upright in heart” and “righteous.”
None of us are good enough, and we know it. Consequently, we spend years covering ourselves with lies, achievements, defensive maneuvers, and even punish ourselves in a vain attempt to atone for our sins. Instead, the Savior invites us to freedom through a simple gift.