23 Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me and know my anxieties; 24 And see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
Psalm 139:23, 24
There are many different examples of courage, both in the Bible and in our world today. There is a certain kind of courage that overwhelms me every time I read about it or see it.
It is the courage to take a good, hard look at ourselves. To take inventory of the ugliness that lies in our reflection. And I don’t mean physical ugliness, but the ugliness of sin which lingers in all of us.
And if I could go one step further, it takes AMAZING courage to ask God to reveal it to us!! We live in a world which is much more comfortable looking at and analyzing OTHER people’s sins than looking at our own. I know, because I’m one of them! And I can count the number of times I’ve asked Him to show me the dark, nasty, dirty stuff in me. The number isn’t very high.
I think this fear to look at who we really are is probably one of the reasons why we don’t read the Word like we should. We are afraid it will cast light on some evil part in us that we, honestly, don’t feel like giving up.
I also think it’s why some of us get so easily offended when a friend tells us something negative about us. We simply don’t want to see it. We are desperately afraid our friend might be right!
But honestly, if we want to grow in maturity and love, we HAVE to see it. We have to admit to God that He’s right; No, He’s not seeing things. I really AM in a certain condition.
To me, the best part about these verses is the end. Find the wicked way, and lead me in an everlasting way! Eternity, free from the entanglements of sin.
This is why I love the writer of this psalm, David. He is one person who rarely hid his flaws when telling the story of his life. He was brutally honest, in fact. We see his worries, lack of faith, deceit, despair, depression….He lays it all out there!
And we can be courageous, too. We do this by not whizzing past those verses that sting, but taking it as a sign that we need to stop right there, and look at that little bit of ugly.
So He can wash it out for us.
I’m going to work on having courage. Will you??