Then I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners will return to you.
When I was in seminary, my professor for biblical counseling was fond of reminding us that if you cannot follow your own biblical counsel, then you have no business giving someone else biblical counsel. In other words, if your marriage is a mess, you have no business trying to help someone else with their marriage. If your kids are a mess, you have no business trying to help someone else with their kids. It’s all about walking the walk and not just talking the talk. This is biblical advice and a biblical principle we see David articulating in Psalm 51. There David is confessing and repenting of his sins and prays, “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit” (vv.10-12). But then notice what he says next, “Then I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners will return to you.” David says that once God has created within him a clean heart and renewed his spirit and restored to him the joy of his salvation, then he will teach transgressors God’s ways. He understands he is no position to teach others about God when his own life is a mess. Thus, he confesses and repents of his sin and prays for God to restore him, so that he can teach others about God. David’s prayer is one we should all be praying.
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