Search Your Heart

Psalm 139:23-24
Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Try me, and know my anxieties;
And see if there is any wicked way in me,
And lead me in the way everlasting.

Many of us have seen the bumper sticker that reads, "Christians aren’t perfect, just forgiven." Technically, that’s a true statement. And it’s a handy disclaimer to have on the back of your car if you’re one of those Christians who ignores speed limits.

But it can also become a major copout when we get nailed for some bad behavior we would rather not change. I much prefer the statement that says, "God loves you just the way you are, but He loves you too much to leave you that way."

It is absolutely true that God loves sinners. In fact, Romans 5:8 declares that God demonstrated, or showed, His love for us "in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." And aren’t we glad? If Jesus had waited until we were no longer sinners to die for us, it never would have happened. (Nor would it have been necessary.) If we ever managed to arrive at the point where we were no longer sinners, Jesus wouldn’t have had to die in our place because, not only would we have learned to control our behavior perfectly, we would have succeeded in changing our very nature as well. But that is a change only God can make.

And only God can truly search our heart and show us those things that need to be changed—and we all have them. The Christian life is not about a one-time experience of asking God’s forgiveness and inviting Jesus into our heart so we’ll have our "fire insurance" when we die; it’s about the ongoing process of having our minds renewed and our hearts changed to become more like the One who gave His life to purchase that "fire insurance" for us. And that’s why we need to daily humble ourselves and ask Him to search our hearts, and then allow Him to make the changes that are necessary to enable us to become the disciples He has called us to be.

May today be a day of heart-searching and change for each of us, as we remember that God really does love us just the way we are—but He loves us too much to leave us that way.

Adapted from my upcoming book BEYOND ME: Living a You-First Life in a Me-First World (New Hope Publishers, June 2008).

Kathi Macias is a multi-award winning writer who has authored seventeen books. Her newest book “Beyond Me. Living a You-first Life in a Me-first World” (New Hope Publishers, July 2008) The author can be reached at: http://www.kathimacias.com

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