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Psalm 51:3

ESV For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me.
NIV For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me.
NASB For I know my wrongdoings, And my sin is constantly before me.
CSB For I am conscious of my rebellion, and my sin is always before me.
NLT For I recognize my rebellion; it haunts me day and night.
KJV For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me.

What does Psalm 51:3 mean?

David made no excuses for his sins. He did not perceive of sin as merely a mistake. He writes here that he is fully aware of what he has done. He viewed his sins as offenses against God. Furthermore, he could not rid his mind of the sins he had committed. David writes, "and my sin is ever before me." This part of David's confession shows that his heart was still inclined toward God. He felt strongly convicted about his wrongdoing, and the conviction tore at him night and day.

It is never right to blame others for the offenses we commit against God. Nor is it appropriate to deny what we have done. A person with a seared conscience cannot obtain forgiveness, but whoever acknowledges his sin, as David did, finds that God accepts confession that rises from a broken heart. When the prodigal son returned home he made no excuses for his waywardness. He confessed that he had sinned against heaven and before his father and was no longer worthy to be called his father's son (Luke 15:21). The father lovingly responded by receiving his son and celebrating his return. David would find a similar response to his confession.
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