Psalm 51:1-4,10-12,17 (New International Version)
1 Have mercy on me, O God,
according to your unfailing love;
according to your great compassion
blot out my transgressions.
2 Wash away all my iniquity
and cleanse me from my sin.
3 For I know my transgressions,
and my sin is always before me.
4 Against you, you only, have I sinned
and done what is evil in your sight,
so that you are proved right when you speak
and justified when you judge.
10 Create in me a pure heart, O God,
and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
11 Do not cast me from your presence
or take your Holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation
and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.
17 My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit;
a broken and contrite heart,
O God, you will not despise.
None of us are perfect, and yes, many times we do not measure up to what God expects of us. But sometimes, we hold on to something we have done in the past that seems so bad, that the guilt and weight of it keeps us from having a close relationship with God.
The verse above came from a Psalm written by Israel's King David, when the prophet Nathan came to him after David had committed adultery with Bathsheba. Here was a "man after God's own heart" who was a saint, an adulterer and a murderer. Here was God's chosen king of God's chosen people at a time when he was not worthy of God's favor and mercy. In his desire to make things right with God, David pleaded to God for forgiveness and mercy.
In his plea to God, we can find steps to help us make things right. First, David asked God for mercy. He asked for God's help in cleansing him from his great sin. God provides this to us if we will accept Jesus's sacrifice on our behalf for the forgiveness of our sin. Next he asked God to restore his relationship with him. God again provides this to us by providing his Holy Spirit to comfort us and lead us to righteous living.
David finally sums things up by telling us what is acceptable to God for whatever wrong we may do, that is a humble heart that looks to Him when we fall short. Let go of what might be holding you back from a right relationship with God. Let go and give it to God.