Summary: This sermon describes what happens when we put ourselves first instead of God.
A Me Problem
(Check Out Self First)
Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy loving kindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me. Psalm 51:1-3
Rev. McClinton Hall
The Psalmist talks about something that all of us can testify to. He says my sin and look if you will where it’s at. He said, “It’s before me. It’s not behind me. It’s not beside me, but it’s before me. It’s right in front of me.” And the Psalmist says it is ever before me. A me problem is ever before me. And we all have them. I don’t have much use for the man or woman who goes out of the way to portray themselves as guiltless, faultless and sinless. I don’t have much use for anybody who think themselves as being perfect. All of us are plagued with shortcomings. And all of us, my brothers and sisters wrestle with defects in our own personal lives. It is no mistake here when I share with you that the Psalmist pens the words of the 51st number of Psalm under the tremendous burden of guilt. The Psalm from whence I’ve read in your hearing was penned with a great sense of sadness and remorse. He penned this Psalm with a humble spirit. As he writes the words of this Psalm, he finds himself remorse and in agony. But I must comment the Psalmist.
First of all for one important thing he did among the rest. And that is that the Psalmist writes about problems that he has experienced and problems that he caused. He writes about a major problem in his life. And you can’t really appreciate this Psalm unless you understand the back drop behind the 51st Psalm. There’s a background to this Psalm. David is the writer. I like David because in David we can see good and bad. In David, we can see the best and the worst of mankind. In David, we can see an angel and a demon. The backdrop of this Psalm resembles a modern day soap opera, like All My Children, Days of Our Lives or General Hospital. They all have the same basic storyline. Somebody is sleeping with someone else’s husband or someone else’s wife. Someone has devised a plan or scheme to get what they want accomplished or someone has gone to the extent to murder someone else.
There are the elements of a basic modern day soap opera and these are the basic elements in the backdrop of the 51st number of Psalm. Oh, brothers and sisters, there had been intrigue. There had been treachery. There had been deceitfulness. There had been adultery and there had been murder. Somebody has read the story. It is after this great sin that David had done that he sits down and pens this Psalm. Can I get a witness? As I said earlier, I commend David. And one of the reasons I commend him is that he takes ownership of the situation. He writes about the sin and he takes ownership because he refers to it as, in the 3rd verse, my sin. You know Loving Peace, there are a great many people who are good about pointing out your sins, but they are not very good and they can even fall silent when it comes to addressing their own sins. Are you with me? The Psalmist here says, “My sins.” They are my sin. Yeah, David says, the sin of treachery, that’s mine. The sin of adultery, that’s my sin. The sin of deceit, that’s mine. The sin of murder, that’s mine.
Oh, Loving Peace, I think I ought to tell you that David does not waste time trying to pass the buck, but he takes ownership of his sins. He’s letting us know that it’s not someone else’s problem, but it’s my problem. It’s a me problem. He says, “They’re my sins.” He seems to be saying it’s not my mother’s. It’s not my father’s. It’s not my sister’s. It’s not my brother’s. They’re my sins. David owns them. And God knows I wish more people would come to that position, to that plateau in life where they will simply be man or woman enough to say, “I did it. I’m the culprit. I am the guilty party.” Can I get a witness? He refers to these sins as my sins. As he talks about them, he says that these sins of his are ever before him. David says, “I’m plagued by my sins. The sins that are ever before me are harassing sins. The sins that are ever before me are haunting sins.” David is haunted by the sins that he has committed. The crimes that he’s guilty or plagues him.