By: Darrelyn L. Tutt

The expression “Two steps forward, one step back” has a comforting ring to it suggesting that, while we may not be taking large strides in a right direction; we are at least taking some stride in a right direction.
It’s a great little cliché but it’s not always a reality.
Sometimes our lives are steeped in sin and we regress instead of progress, we move backward instead of forward;
sometimes we immerse ourselves in private sins and engage ourselves in besetting habits and practices that spiral us … downward.
If a man after God’s own heart, like David, could commit murder and adultery,
I don’t believe that you and I are above any sin of darkness either.
Perhaps your sin has a different name:
Anger, greed, gossip, alcohol, over-eating, pornography, stealing, lying, cheating, etc.
The name of your sin is insignificant next to the debilitating effect it has on your spirit.
When we don’t deal rightly with sin we are held captive by it and we take …
“Two steps backward, one step back.”
Consider the life of David.
David gave himself over to his sinful desires and was catapulted into a state that demoralized, disrupted, and dismantled his beautiful shepherd heart.
And for a while ….
-The songs left him.
-The words left him.
-The music left him.

And the great Psalmist became a great transgressor.
- Riddled with guilt.
- Saddled with shame.
- Demoralized by deception.
David simply plummeted and descended into the depths of sin.
And yet … one stationary reality remained in place.
- The Giver of songs never left David.
- The Giver of words never left David.
- The Giver of music never left David.
And the Worshipful One loved the sinful one;
and called not one David but all of the “Davids” back into harmony with Himself
through the words of a man who had taken enough steps backward to warrant a prison sentence.
And David’s heart changed,
along with his words.
Psalm 51 is a composition of the “broken and sin impaired.”
Perhaps the greatest composition ever written
and induced by a thousand steps backward.
The harmony of two now becomes a symphony of thousands as broken lives and hurting individuals grab ahold of the words of, not a strong king, but a broken, sinful, humble shepherd.
And it’s at this point that the old cliché becomes a wondrous new reality;
truth and grace enter in and once again it’s ….
“Two steps forward; one step back.”
And God alone be praised.

“Purge me with hyssop and I shall be clean; wash me and I shall be whiter than snow.
Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which Thou hast broken may rejoice.
Hide Thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities.
Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.”
Psalm 51:7-10