“Against thee, thee only, have I sinned….” Ps. 51:4
When you sin and then feel sorrow in repentance, why are you sorry? Are you sorry because you have been untrue to the Lord and have grieved the Holy Spirit? Or are you sorry merely because you have failed, and have not come up to your expectations?
There is a great deal of selfishness in much of our repentance. After all, it is not we who live the Christian life but Christ in us. We should never be looking at self anyway, expecting anything of ourselves. When we fail, if we worry because we have dropped from our standard, then we have only been trying to live up to a dramatized version of ourselves. It is a common error to be a spiritual poser, even posing like Christ, which of course always ends in collapse and then we are miserable because we have disappointed ourselves. Christ gets little consideration.
David had sinned against almost everybody, himself, his people, Uriah, Bathsheba, but he knew in his heart he had sinned against God. While we must afterward make restitution to others wronged, repentance is a transaction solely with God and what matters there is not that we have failed but that God has been disobeyed, Christ denied, the Spirit grieved.