When we hurt another person, we hurt God. If I wrong you, I am also offending Him. If I steal from you, I am robbing Him. If I lie to you, I am lying to the One who is truth. If I take your life, I destroy what is precious to God. This truth is often forgotten in the lax moral environment of our culture.

A top officer of a Japanese financial institution was in tears as he heaped blame on himself for his corporation’s collapse. We too may feel sorry when our actions inflict undeserved suffering on others. This is commendable. But when there is deliberate wrongdoing, a tearful apology is incomplete if God is left out of the confession. Until we see sin for what it is—rebellion against God—we have not come to grips with it.

When Joseph was tempted by Potiphar’s wife, he said, “How then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?” (Gen. 39:9). And in Psalm 51 David confessed, “Against You, You only, have I sinned” (v.4). Surely David knew he had stolen another man’s wife and murdered a loyal soldier. Yet he went to the heart of the matter—no excuses, no rationalization. He had sinned against God! That’s the admission God is looking for, because He longs to give us His mercy and forgiveness.