Taking Personal Responsibility for Sin

God wants to restore my joy, but I must take personal responsibility for my sin. 

Recently a woman traveled to Morocco and had an accident on a camel ride. But instead of taking issue with the camel company, she sued TripAdvisor, citing that the website offered tranquil pictures of a serene ride in the desert. Perhaps the site should have provided images of people falling off of camels and breaking their arms. 

We live in a culture where it's always someone else's fault. TripAdvisor doesn't put you on a camel, it just tells you where you can go to ride one.

There is no joy restored by blame. No one ever fixed their failure by pointing a finger at someone else.

David committed adultery with a woman and murdered her husband in an attempt to cover up his sin. If you trace the story in 2 Samuel 11 you see how sin always points a finger the other way. 

David saw her beauty. He thought nothing of his purity. 

David saw her availability. He thought nothing of his responsibility as King. 

When it came to her pregnancy, David attempted to solve the problem by aborting her husband. He thought nothing of how his actions would destroy a family. 

Sin always points a finger the other way.

Make it Personal - the Me, Myself, and I of sin.

But for joy to be restored, sin has to become personal. Notice in Psalm 51 how David takes responsibility for his sin and the consequence of it. 

  • v. 1 - MY transgressions
  • v. 2 - MY iniquity
  • v. 4 - I have sinned

Throughout his petition for forgiveness, the language stays consistent. This is my fault. I have brought this upon myself. This is MY sin. God needs to deal with ME. 

Sin will not only make you miserable, but it will make you delusional. Sin will convince you that it is everyone else's responsibility to bring you joy. When they don't meet that unrealistic expectation, we turn to the fleeting pleasures of sin. 

My spouse doesn't make me happy, so I . . . 

Money is tight, so I . . . 

When it is the duty of everyone else and everything else to bring you joy, you can justify any sin - in your own mind.

But for joy to be restored, sin cannot be someone else's fault. The problem is not the availability of pornography. People do horrible things to us, but they cannot become the reason we do awful things. 

David not only takes responsibility for his sin, but he takes responsibility for where he is spiritually. 

  • v. 7 - (implied) I'm not clean.
  • v. 8 - (implied) I don't hear joy and gladness
  • v 10 - (implied) My heart isn't clean, my spirit needs to be renewed. 

God will not restore joy until sin gets personal. If you want joy, there can be no more "they," "them," "that," or "you." God works when it gets personal. True confession is me, myself, and I. 

Bible Study:

Read Psalm 51:1-19

  • Make a list of every instance in which David takes personal responsibility for:

  1. His sin.
  2. The consequences.
  3. His spiritual condition.


Write out a personal confession to God. Others may be the victim of your sin, others may even be involved in your sin, but make it personal. Why did you do what you did? Where are you spiritually as a result of it?

Read through Psalm 51 and put yourself in the prayer. Adopt it as your own and pray it to God from your heart. 

Read the first post in this series, The Kryptonite of Joy.

Watch this message on my YouTube channel.



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