Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.
— Psalm 51:1-2

When David was confronted with his sin, he responded with a broken and humble heart. He did not seek advice from others, try to downplay the situation, or address his wrongdoing on his own. He humbled himself and asked God to “blot out my transgressions, wash away all my iniquity, and cleanse me.” These are all actions that only God can do. David asked the supreme ruler of the universe to take action on his behalf.

Often we want to work things out, make things right, and take some action to fix our wrongdoing. All of these things can be a part of our repentance and restoration. Still, David knew that the first steps were to reach out for help, to step toward God rather than away from him, and to ask God to fix the problem in his heart.

An earthly court and legal system can bring down heavy judgment for breaking the law. That makes it difficult to imagine sitting down before the Supreme Judge and laying it all out there. It’s hard to picture taking full responsibility for your actions and asking that Judge to make things right. We live in a society where true, honest confession can and will be used against you, but God is not like any other judge or jury you will face on Earth. He already knows everything, whether you admit it or not. Before God, the truth is always laid bare. He promises that he will forgive us. We do not want to take advantage of that, but instead, like David, humbly admit the sin, knowing that “God’s loving kindness leads us to repentance.” (Romans 2:4)

Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.
— Hebrews 4:13

Take a moment to ask yourself this question: Am I being honest and open before the Judge, or am I just pretending?

Our only real help comes from God. We are all broken from our sin and selfishness, and he is the only source of healing. We must move away from our internal actions and learn to trust and ask him for forgiveness and restoration.