With His Hat in His Hands

Old timers used to say that a humbled man “had his hat in his hands.” It referred to the appearance of someone in humility or someone who had been shown to be wrong and was coming to ask forgiveness. We don’t see many people today with their hats in their hands. Humility may be a lost emotion in some places.

I’ve been thinking today of forgiveness, specifically forgiveness from God.

I am a sinner. And my own sins have risen like a great wall between me and God (Isaiah 59:2). He cannot so much as look upon me (Habakkuk 1:13). I am fully broken. I am lost.

I can work night and day doing good, I can seek goodness through my own merits and I will always fall short. Because of my needs I require the forgiveness of God. It is against him that I have sinned.

Against God only I have sinned (Psalm 51:4) and it is his forgiveness I crave.

It is a tremendously comforting thought that God is willing to forgive when we are willing to come to him -“with our hat in our hands” – and seek him. There is no place at the Throne of Grace for arrogance or pride. There is no place for the self-righteous. The one who seeks forgiveness must repent and humble himself.

Let us come humbly to the Lord and meet him on his terms. He is faithful to forgive


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