A Test of Honesty

The one who lives honestly, practices righteousness, and acknowledges the truth in his heart.—Psalm 15:2

One of the steps toward producing a perfect coordination between our head and our heart involves facing this question: when I pray or seek the Lord, is my heart fully and enthusiastically behind what I am asking for with my lips? If not, we will fail to surmount the heights of God “with all four feet.”

One of the things that used to puzzle me greatly in the early days of my pastoral ministry was to sit down with people who were not getting what they longed for spiritually and, after hours of counseling, sometimes to discover that although they were asking God for something with their lips, they were not really desiring it deep down in their hearts.

I am thinking specifically of a woman I knew who prayed earnestly (and loudly) in church for the conversion of her non-Christian husband. One day, however, in a moment of great openness and honesty (such as often occurs in counseling) she admitted that deep down in her heart she didn’t really want her husband to be converted because she was afraid that if he was, the attention and sympathy she was getting from people in the church would no longer be there. Once she realized what was going on inside her, however, she was able to deal with it and became one of the most spiritually released women I have ever known. Her whole life (not just her prayer life) became one of deep, quiet conviction, and eventually—many years later—she had the joy of seeing her husband surrender to Christ.

Prayer

My Father, one thing is clear—such are the subterfuges of the human heart that without Your light and guidance, I can be self-deceived. Help me to apply the test of honesty and openness to my own spiritual life. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Further Study

Jr 17:1-10; 23:24; 1Co 3:20

How does Jeremiah describe the heart?

How does the Lord view the thoughts of the worldly wise?

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