Contrite refers to having an attitude of humility, brokenness and a healthy fear of God's Word. A contrite person throws themselves upon the mercy of God, knowing they deserve nothing but righteous wrath (Ps 41:4; Isa 6:5). This is illustrated by the parable Jesus told of two men praying: one was self-righteous and proud (he went away in the same condition), the other who humbly repented received forgiveness (Lk 18:10-14). Both needed mercy, but only the contrite person was in a position to receive it. Jesus said, "Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted" (Mt 5:4). This refers to those who grieve over their sin, and what it cost Jesus to bring redemption for this is true repentance which brings lasting peace with God (Rom 5:12; Cor 5:21).

“The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O Lord you will not despise” (Ps 34:18; 51:17). “I [God] live in a high and holy place, but also with him who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite” (Isa 57:15). Again God says, “This

A contrite heart calls sin, sin

is the one I esteem: he who is humble and contrite in spirit who trembles at my Word” (Isa 66:2). Such people humbly walk in God’s ways and are submitted to His will, thus the place of contrition is a blessed place. When the Holy Spirit convicts of sin they quickly and genuinely repent. It is a heart attitude that is much deeper and meaningful than the often said ‘I’m sorry’ that doesn’t result in a change of heart and turning from sin. A contrite person doesn't make excuses (which are denials) but agrees with God, knowing that repentance is the only doorway to true freedom from sin which a violation against His holy nature and commands.

See also: brokenness, excuse, humility, remorse, repentance.