“The human heart is most deceitful and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is?” Jeremiah 17:9
There is wisdom in the wish that we might see ourselves, as others see us—for it would free us from many a blunder and foolish notion. We are prejudiced in our own favor. We are disposed to be charitable toward our own shortcomings. We make all sorts of allowances for our own faults. We are wonderfully patient with our own weaknesses. We are blind to our own blemishes. We look at our good qualities through magnifying glasses; and at our faults and errors with lenses reversed—making them appear very small. We see only the best of ourselves. If you were to meet yourself on the street some morning—that is, the person God sees you to be—you would probably not recognize yourself!
If the true chronicle of your life were written in a book, in the form of a story, and you were to read the chapters over—you probably would not identify the story as your own! We do not know our real self. We do not imagine there is so much about us that is morally ugly and foul, that is positively wicked. But God searches and knows the innermost and hidden things of our heart!
Are we ready to make the prayer for divine searching? Are we willing to have God search us—and find every secret, hidden sin in us? Are we willing for Him to go down into our heart, among our thoughts and affections and desires, and find and reveal to us every way of wickedness He discovers? Then are we willing to give up, tear out, and cast away forever from us, everything that God finds that is not holy?
“Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the everlasting way!” ~ J. R. Miller, 1912, from Looking One’s Soul in the Face