“People may be right in their own eyes, but the Lord examines their heart.” – Proverbs 21:2 NLT
As human beings we can be the masters of deceit and deception. Over time we can learn the art of spin, controlling what others think about us and manipulating how they perceive us. In fact, how we’re perceived can become far more important to us than reality. Our persona becomes our pseudo-personality. Perception becomes reality. After a while we can even begin to believe our own PR. We can convince ourselves that the facade we’ve erected is real, not imaginary – that the aura we give off is authentic, not self-manufactured and fake.
But while we may fool others and even ourselves with our Academy-Award-winning ways, God remains unconvinced and unimpressed. He looks right past our plastic, fake facade and sees into the very recesses of our heart. He examines our heart. The word used there is a term for measuring, as in a balance scale. He places our heart on one side of the scale and measures its real worth. He doesn’t take into account any of the excess exterior trappings we’ve spent so much time creating. He goes right to the heart of the matter – literally. God takes a look at the condition of our heart and He sees us for who we really are and, if we allow Him, He will expose that rather than being the measure of all things, we are being measured.
God x-rays our hearts and reveals what’s really going on under the shiny surface of our lives. He exposes our pride, anger and arrogance. He shows us our selfishness and self-centeredness. He lets us see our fears, faithlessness, spiritual adultery, and embarrassing weaknesses. But like a doctor examining a patient, God’s goal is not just to expose sickness, He wants to bring about healing. He wants to get us off the surface issues and deal with the hard realities of our hearts. He wants to heal our hearts so that we might truly be what He desires for us to be. “Whoever pursues righteousness and unfailing love will find life, righteousness, and honor” (Proverbs 21:21 NLT). We can pursue wealth, pleasure, popularity, and a host of other things, but they will never deliver what we need. We can attempt to ignore our hearts and live in a fairy tale land of false identity and fake reality, but we will never find joy, peace, and contentment. So God examines our hearts and He gives us the results. But He also provides us with a prescription and a remedy for healing. He is the Great Physician and He knows how to heal our hearts and restore our souls. But it begins with a thorough examination and a correct, sometimes shocking diagnosis. Once we accept His assessment and place ourselves under His loving, capable hands, the healing can begin. Our heart can be made whole again. The facade can come down, the false identity can be removed and the man or woman God designed us to be can begin to reveal itself – from the inside out.
Father, we are the masters of deceit. We know something is wrong inside, but we don’t know what it is or what to do about it. So we cover it up and act as if everything is fine. We learn to appear as something we’re not. We learn to act a certain way and give off the aura we think others want to see. Make us real Father. Show us the true conditions of our hearts. Change us from the inside out so that we might know what it means to be what You’ve called us to be. Amen.
Grow Pastor & Minister to Men