Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love;
according to your great compassion, blot out my transgressions.”
~Psalm 51:1

For forgiveness of my sin, I have nothing to appeal to outside of God’s great love and compassion. If I ask for forgiveness based on my own love for God or for my fellow humans, I will be destroyed. If I beg for mercy based on my loyalty to God, I will be condemned. If I plead for absolution based on my good deeds, my stack of merits, or my status, I will not be saved. I cannot pray for forgiveness because of my own faithfulness. Certainly not according to my righteousness. Nor my goodness. Not my sincerity. I can’t show God my list of accomplishments, I can’t bring to him the contents of my heart, I can’t appeal to him based on my intentions, my actions, or my thoughts.

I’ve got nothing.


If it’s according to me or according to anything I’ve ever done or thought about doing; if it’s based on my past or present or future; if it’s contingent on my goodness in any way, I’m sunk. You know it and I know it. I’m done for. And so are you.

Praise God, it’s according to his unfailing love! Praise God it’s according to his great compassion!

It’s all I’ve got. And it’s all I need.

It’s all you’ve got. And it’s all you need.