August 11, A Contrite Heart

Today’s reading: Psalms 51-55

“My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise” - Psalm 51:17.

As we saw earlier this month, God is not interested in religious acts that signify external compliance with His will. He is interested in your heart, for if He has your heart’s allegiance, then the external acts will flow from within and be acceptable in His sight. This contrite, broken heart is not just to be present when you do wrong, but you should work to maintain that heart condition at all times, which is called humility, a sense of your own weakness and dependence on the Lord, and contrition. The prophet identified the benefit of a contrite heart in 2 Chronicles 16:9: “For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.” Jesus addressed the church at Ephesus about their heart and behavior when He said, “Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first. Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place” (Revelation 2:4-5). Would you describe your heart condition as broken and contrite? Do you see yourself as God sees you, or are you evaluating your heart based on your own perspective? How would you approach God today if you had a broken, contrite heart? What would you say?