4 Against you, and you alone, have I sinned;
I have done what is evil in your sight.
You will be proved right in what you say,
and your judgment against me is just.
5 For I was born a sinner—
yes, from the moment my mother conceived me.
6 But you desire honesty from the womb,
teaching me wisdom even there.
7 Purify me from my sins and I will be clean;
wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
Whilst our sin can affect our own lives and offend and hurt other people into the bargain, it is first and foremost an offence against God.
Every sinful act is rebellion against a gracious God. Repentance may involve asking forgiveness from other people, or some form of reparation, but it must begin where it really matters – with God. Sometimes sorrow for sin goes no deeper than regrets that we have been unmasked and our fault discovered. That is not real repentance! Whether or not we are aware of the impact on other people of our sin, it has an impact on God – He is the offended party. So that is where we begin in seeking forgiveness. There is something basically rotten in our fallen human nature that causes us to be selfish, or rebel against the clear commandment of God, but that does not excuse our sin: it might explain it, but not absolve us from the responsibility we carry for it. Repentance begins when we face up to our personal responsibility for what we have done and say honestly to God, Against you, and you alone, have I sinned; I have done what is evil in your sight.