“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.” Psalm 139:23, 24
It matters very little to us what men may say—either in praise or in blame—of our conduct, or our deeds. But there is One who sits at the center of all things, who is perfect in wisdom, love, and righteousness, and whose judgments are unerring. We should want always to know what He thinks of our acts, words, dispositions, and thoughts. Though all the world applauds what we do, if on His face there is no pleasure, if we see there the shadow of disapprobation, what a mockery is men’s applause! On the other hand, if the world sneers, condemns, and blames; if men have for us only scorn, reproach, and persecution; and if, meanwhile, turning our eyes toward the heavenly throne, we see in the divine face—the smile of pleasure and approval, what need we care for either the favors or the frowns of men? It is to God we should turn—for the searching of our lives. No other judgment will avail.
It is better and safer always, to fall into the hands of God, than into the hands of men. God is kindlier and juster than men. Nobody understands you—as God does. Nobody knows your infirmities and has such patience with them—as God has. He knows our frame. He remembers that we are dust. He understands our weakness. He knows human life—this blessed Lord of ours—by actual human experience. He knows all the elements that enter into human struggle, and, therefore, is fitted for sympathy. We never need be afraid to open our heart to Him, for He will never be unjust with us. We never need be afraid to ask Him to search us, for if we truly want to give up our sins when we discover them—we shall find Him most merciful and gracious. ~J. R. Miller, 1912, Looking One’s Soul in the Face