I’m amazed to this day how strong the temptation is in my life to try to hide my sin from God and others. I believe this desire is alive and well in most of us.
Knowing this, people will often point to Psalm 139:23-24 to illustrate the need for self-examination. It says,
“Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my thoughts. See if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”
But if you back up to the beginning of Psalm 139 you’ll discover something interesting. The Psalm actually begins by acknowledging that God has already searched me. Verses 1-4 state:
“O Lord, you have searched me and known me. You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from far away. You search out my path and my lying down, and are acquainted with all of my ways. Even before a word is on my tongue, O Lord, you know it completely.”
Ruth Haley Barton wrote in Sacred Rhythms,
“This may point to the fact that the real issue in self-examination is not that I am inviting God to know me (since he already does) but that I am inviting God to help me know me.
As I’ve been spending more and more time alone with God I’ve begun to pray, “God help me to know me. Help me to tear down the scaffolding of power, praise, perfectionism and performance that I use to prop myself up. Strengthen me so I can bear to be naked, vulnerable and willing to see the areas of my life where Christ likeness is so lacking.
So often I feel like I’m playing a game. Very similar to this little game I caught Gage playing with me yesterday morning which inspired this post.
We play a similar game with God don’t we? We actually think that if we don’t acknowledge the areas of our life that are less than Christlike, that maybe God won’t notice them either. How silly of us.
How silly it is for me to be tempted to make myself sound a lot more spiritual than I really am. Tempted to act like I have faith when I really don’t. Tempted to tell stories that make me sound like I’m a better husband or father than I really am.
But my encouragement to you today is to remove the blanket. You’re not fooling anyone. The pain of self-awareness can be the beginning of transformation. Stop dodging yourself.