Psalm 19:12-13, “Who can understand his errors? cleanse thou me from secret faults. Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression.”
David starts verse 12 with a rhetorical question: Who can understand his errors? Answer: Very few people.
Nobody wants to admit when they’re wrong. It’s not in our DNA. It’s so much easier to blame others for our mistakes. Even from the beginning, Adam blamed Eve, and Eve blamed the serpent for their sins instead of taking ownership of them. From that day until now, we continue to play the blame game. We choose to break God’s laws and then act as if we haven’t done anything wrong at all.
In verse 13, David describes the type of sins that we often choose to ignore: our “presumptuous sins.” These are sins that we justify. Sound familiar? These are the very same errors that often bog us down and stunt our spiritual growth because we refused to give them over to the Lord. As a result, they have “dominion” or power over our lives!
Obviously, these “secret faults” as David calls them, are not really a secret to our Creator. He is well acquainted with our sins. God’s word is clear that wherever we go on the earth, above the earth or even beneath it, His presence is there. More importantly, His all-searching eye can penetrate the depths of our very hearts and souls, so no thought is withheld from Him. In spite of this truth, we try, like our first parents, to cover our sins with a fig leaf. How futile!
It’s like the young child who does something naughty, covers his own eyes with his hands (so he can no longer see his parent) and thinks that his parent won’t be able to punish him. The child believes that he is no longer visible; however, the parent’s vision has not been altered or diminished in any way, shape, or form. Consequently, because of our stubbornness and immaturity, our errors, like those of the young child’s, remain ever exposed to our Heavenly Father.
So, what can do to help ourselves? What can we do to get out of this rut?
Scripture teaches that we must come to a place in our walk with Christ where we stop excusing our errors. Much like Nephi did when he said, “Awake my soul; no longer droop in sin,” we have to wake up, repent, and confess our sins before God. If we confess our sins, according to the Apostle John, God is faithful and just to forgive us from our sins and cleanse us of all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).
So, why do we as believers carry on with the charade? Why do we refuse to acknowledge our errors? Is the Lord not faithful? Does He not have all power in heaven and in earth to equip us as His children to overcome our personal struggles if we totally surrender them to Him?
The good news that we find in these verses and in the gospel of Jesus Christ is that if we acknowledge our errors and call upon the name on the Lord, He will not only keep us from the “great transgression” of living in denial of our secret sins, but He also promises to forgive, heal, restore, and bless our lives. What a deal! Thank you, Lord, for giving us the opportunity to be “upright” and cleansed once again.
This article has undergone ministry review and approval.