READ : Psalm 86
Teach me your way, O Lord, that I may walk in your truth; unite my heart to fear your name. (v. 11)
“The man who lies to himself and listens to his own lies comes to such a pass that he cannot distinguish the truth within him” (Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Brothers Karamazov). Confession: I lie to myself every day, glossing over my pride, selfishness, and indifference. I rationalize and excuse conduct I’m quick to condemn in others. Left unchecked, these tendencies would result in a grotesque gap between how I see myself and how I really am.
According to the Christian mystic Thomas Merton, the first step in finding God is to discover the truth about ourselves, regardless of how painful that may prove to be. Given our capacity for self-deception, we do not have the resources within us to discover this truth on our own. Only God can reveal our true nature and condition to us; only by humility and prayer can we accept the truth he reveals.
Churchill quipped that many who stumble upon the truth pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing has happened. Christians need a different approach. We know we don’t have to ignore or deny the deformity of our nature because it is this very nature that becomes renewed in Christ. When we humbly strive to unite our hearts to fear God and walk in his truth, we find the Lord faithful and willing to forgive, “and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).
Lord, unite my heart to walk in your truth today.