Psalm 51:5-6 (JDV)
Psalm 51:5 Notice, I was guilty when I was born; I was sinful when my mother conceived me.
Psalm 51:6 Notice, you desire integrity in the inner self, and you teach me wisdom deep within.
Here David lays out the problem of original sin and its consequential depravity. Sinners sin, and we are born with a sinful disposition like a genetic defect.
Every time someone I respect does something that shows lack of integrity, I remind myself of this fact, and it helps me to deal with the disappointment. The fact of innate depravity does not excuse our sinful choices, but it does help explain them.
There’s also a conscience at work here. David feels the compulsion to do the right thing. He inwardly knows what God wants. He literally feels it in his kidneys (tuchot).
So David admits he lost this round in the tug-of-war with himself. He has failed his God and proved himself a sinner. This is the first step to being reconciled and cleansed.
Lord, we need you because we know that within us there is a war being fought, and only you have the key to victory in that war.