The second piece to the puzzle when considering how to cease the pointless pursuit of perfection is grieving. Matthew 5:4 says, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” For years I have interpreted this to be geared towards those who have lost loved ones or who are enduring great tragedy. But my pastor, Bobby, cast a different light on this. This verse, I learned, is more about the condition of one’s heart rather than circumstances endured. It has to do with a grieving that is brought on by an honest assessment of our hearts from God’s point of view.
Proverbs 21:2 says, “every way of a man is right in his own eyes, but the Lord weights the heart.” What this says is that my perception of life, my ideas, my plans, all of my inner thoughts are right to me as I compare to other lives and as I rationalize the validity of “me”. But if I will humbly seek God’s vantage point, my eyes will see the horror of what is the real condition of my heart.
God wants us to be broken sometimes over the condition of our hearts. Can I be real? My heart is wicked. I received something in the mail the other day about giving to the people in Haiti after the horrific earthquakes, and my response was to scan over it and then put it in a pile of junk mail deemed for the trash can. Why? Because I give other places and don’t have anything else to give. I’m furious at myself as I write this because I put my cushy, well-provided for little American life before the homeless, starving and orphaned populace of Haiti…all because I need to make sure I have enough for food and entertainment and the such. How disgusting is that? It is a reality I have realized about the condition of my heart. I will always put myself before others when left to my own devices.
I need to tie this to yesterday’s post on grace, because it is reflections upon God’s grace that has brought me to this point. It isn’t some self-despising, beat up session, but rather an honest assessment on the current condition of my heart when I hold it up to the light of grace. Grace is something I do not deserve and never will. Nothing I have done or will do can earn me God’s favor. It was a decision He made to sacrifice Himself for the sake of each one of us. When you consider the weight of His sacrifice in light of the magnitude of our sin, it can only bring you to a place of realizing that nothing in you is good when left to your own.
So are you willing to grieve over the condition of your heat? To take an honest look at what’s inside from God’s perspective, to join with the psalmist and pray:
Search me, o God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts. And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. (Psalm 139:23-24)