Sometimes the Old Testament can feel fairly heavy and negative and a little bit scary. But I like this one.
My child, if you have sinned, do so no more, and for your past sins pray to be forgiven. Flee from sin as from a serpent that will bite you if you go near it; Its teeth, lion’s teeth, destroying human lives. All lawlessness is like a two-edged sword; when it cuts, there is no healing. Panic and pride wipe out wealth; so too the house of the proud is uprooted. Prayer from the lips of the poor is heard at once, and justice is quickly granted them. Whoever hates correction walks the sinner’s path, but whoever fears the Lord repents in his heart.
“My child, if you have sinned, do so no more.” What a great way to say it. If you have (and of course who hasn’t) just don’t do it again. “And for your past sins pray to be forgiven.” I feel the peace of being in a confessional.
And having spent the day dealing with the trouble created when someone cannot accept criticism and feedback, I appreciate the reminder that “whoever hates correction walks the sinner’s path.” It is good to be humble and accept correction. We all can learn. We all can do better. And perhaps a little fear of the Lord is good, so we repent and accept the correction. But I hope that I repent, not just out of fear but out of humbleness and our of love.
My God, I am sorry for my sins. In choosing to do wrong and failing to do good, I have sinned against you, who I love above all things. I firmly resolve, with your help and your grace to repent and to sin no more.