March 29

“You desire truth in the inner parts . . .”

Scripture: Psalm 51: 6-9

6 Surely you desire truth in the inner parts;
       you teach me wisdom in the inmost place.

 7 Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean;
       wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.

 8 Let me hear joy and gladness;
       let the bones you have crushed rejoice.

 9 Hide your face from my sins
       and blot out all my iniquity.

Reader: This is the word of the Lord.   Response: Thanks be to God.

Some thoughts:
Have you ever been amazed while watching American Idol (Admit it, you’ve seen it at least for a few minutes!) that some of the “wanna be” stars of tomorrow have so little understanding of their actual talent? They appear clueless! Remember when Simon Cowell was one of the judges? We all waited for Simon to speak because we knew he would speak the truth regarding their “talent.” Why is it that we can so easily live in duplicity? We are masters at giving ourselves the benefit of the doubt. We easily grant latitude to our own conduct that we will not grant to others.  We have a dozen reasons why it was not our fault; why we are the exception; why we can be excused for missing the mark; or why we should be granted leniency in this circumstance. In the Scripture passage, the “inner parts” can also be translated “inner being,” in other words, our heart, our soul, the core of who we are. The Lord wants us to be truthful with ourselves. When that happens, look what follows! Our heart gets a lesson in wisdom from God. God cleanses our sin completely. He is the one who does the washing. We physically revive. Unconfessed sin, sometimes known as rationalization, pays a heavy physical and spiritual dividend. I have to wonder if some of our aches and pains and tensions aren’t from unconfessed sin or our refusal to deal with what we instinctively know to be wrong in our lives. The devil will always tell you it’s not anything to worry about. I made a comment the other day that was to be funny. Part of it was. But as soon as I said it, I had a little voice that told me there could be too much “bite” in what I said and wished I hadn’t said it. The person about whom the comment was made asked to get together, and sure enough, I had hurt a friend. I apologized for my thoughtless remark. What struck me was that the little voice that spoke so quickly in me was right. It would have been easy just to move on, but to my friends credit, I was able to confess and get it out of my system. I’m wondering how many times we don’t follow up on those little nudges and they subtly eat away at us. Our relationship to God deadens. Confession gets a load off our chest. It is freeing. Are you telling God the truth today?

Music: “May the Mind of Christ My Savior”  Jake Armerding        

May the mind of Christ my Savior live in me from day to day.                                                                   By his power and love controlling all I do and say.       May the Word of God dwell richly in my heart from hour to hour. So that all may see I triumph only through his power.

Prayer: Dear God, make me think about what I’m doing with my mind, with my body, with my habits, with my study, with my friends, with my hopes, with my parents, with my faith, with life. Amen.
-Carl Burke, b. 1917