A quick thought today.
I post verses from the Bible on twitter/facebook each day from whatever texts I happen to be reading in my personal devotions. It serves multiple purposes for me to do so, and there may be another time when I talk about that. But, for now, at least one of the reasons is to encourage people with the beauty of the Scriptures in places they may not have read that day.
I’m using the month of July to read through the Psalms and today’s reading finished on Psalm 51. This particular song of David came in response to his confrontation with the prophet Nathan after the king had committed adultery with Bathsheeba and then had her husband, Uriah, killed. Out of that dark place comes a beautifully sweeping prayer of repentance and a pleading to God for His presence to remain in spite of the circumstances.
Verse 10 of that chapter is a wonderful example of true, godward repentance.
Create in me a clean heart, O God,
and renew a right spirit within me.
So I thought that it would be a good verse to post from that chapter. But as I was getting ready to send the tweet there was a catch in my mind. I started thinking, “what are people going to think when they read this? will they assume that I’ve committed some egregious sin this morning and i’m desperately trying to get God to forgive me?”
Now I’ve never been one to care a great deal about what people think about me. I am who I am; some will like me, others will not. I’ll do my best to be cordial and loving and kind but I am well aware of the reality that I’m not going to “mesh” with everyone I meet. But this thought, this sudden awareness of popular opinion as it concerns my spiritual condition, caught me off guard. I was forced to think through the verse, read it again, and see if it could be interpreted in such a way as to not indict me for anything.
The truth is this: I am not perfect. Anyone who knows me, even in a casual way, would likely be able to testify to that fact. I’m brash, my mouth has a tendency to get me into trouble, I push lines, etc… So in light of these truths, I’m not sure who exactly I’m concerned about knowing that today, even though my morning has not consisted of any gross, blatant, or heinous sin, I still need God to create a clean heart in me and make sure my spirit is tracking with His Spirit.
I’ll put it very clear and then leave it alone: it’s a foolish notion that would think I only need God’s grace on days that I engage in horribly sinful activities…my need for God’s grace extends to every single moment of my life, whether I am working my job, losing my patience with my family, breaking commandments, or entertaining angels unaware. GOD’S GRACE IS NOT A REACTION TO MY MOMENTS OF SIN, IT IS THE KEY TO MY DAILY SALVATION.
No one told me the lie that everyone assumed I was perfect. I came up with that one on my own. So you could say that, this morning, I lied to myself. Liars have a certain place reserved for them according to the Scriptures. So even today I need a heart cleansing and a spirit recalibration after all.