Psalm 51:16-17 says, “You (God) do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you (God) do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.
During Lent, many decide to offer a “sacrifice” by giving up something they love. However, God is not impressed by our “sacrifice.” There is no virtue in simply giving up something. The virtue is in why! Broken and contrite both mean crushed. The psalmist’s idea is to stress the intent and condition of the heart and spirit of the sacrificer.
The despised sacrifice is one that comes from a heart of arrogance and pride. It says look at me! Look how holy I am! Look at what I am doing for God! The focus is on what “I” am doing. The delightful sacrifice is one that comes from a broken and contrite heart. It says, thank you Lord for what you have done! I am nothing without you! I am totally dependent on you! The focus is God! It is birthed from humility.
As you “sacrifice” during Lent, be sure your offering is delightful to God and not despised by God. Keep the focus on Him, what He has done and what He is doing. Keep it off of yourself and what you are doing.