May 22, 2009
How's Your Heart?
by Laura MacCorkle, Crosswalk.com Senior Entertainment Editor
Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
Psalm 139:23-24, NIV
It's easy to be fooled into thinking that your heart is in pretty good condition. And so perhaps you've had thoughts like this:
I'm a good person.
I attend church twice a week.
I go to a weekly Bible study.
I keep up with my daily devotionals.
I volunteer in my community.
I tithe to my church.
I'm kind to my family.
I pray for my friends.
Sound familiar? We can focus on the peripheral so much so that we forget to dig a little deeper and see what's really going on inside our hearts.
Well, I've discovered a sure-fire method that will quickly expose the condition of the heart. That's right. Here it is: it's driving. Yes. D-R-I-V-I- N-G.
When you're driving, its seems like the real you comes out to play. I know that I would never want someone to record the thoughts that go through my mind or the words that exit my mouth when I'm driving. They're not R-rated, but I sure wouldn't want them inscribed on my tombstone.
These thoughts happen fairly regularly. Like recently, as I made my way through a sketchy part of the city. I encountered folks driving way below the speed limit. Other folks cut me off while trying to get in front of other slow drivers in other lanes. And another driver took up two lanes while trying to make a left-hand turn (!!!).
In these incidents, what I thought really shocked me. Afterward, I immediately wondered, Did I really think that? My heart is so ugly. Oh dear God. Please help me!
I'm not telling you what I was thinking, because I am ashamed. But I will tell you this: it enlightened me. My thoughts shone a light in the dark corners of my heart. I saw how horribly corroded and nasty it was-like what you experience when you pull up the stopper from your kitchen garbage disposal. Foul!
I saw the judgment. I saw the pride. I saw the lack of love and forgiveness. It's gunk that needs to be cleaned out-really bleached out-on a consistent basis. But bleach smells, it's strong and it stings. Who wants to willingly submit to that? It's hard to do, but it's absolutely essential if we are to stay spiritually healthy and heart smart.
While I'm disappointed in my condition, I'm thankful that driving is doing such a good job of testing me and exposing what's in my heart. And until I'm old and decrepit and can't maneuver a moving vehicle anymore, I know that my next heart check is just one keyed ignition, one gear change and one gas pedal away.
Intersecting Faith & Life: If not driving, are there other situations or activities in your life that "put the squeeze" on you and really show what's going on in your heart? Maybe it's an individual who just knows how to push your buttons. Or perhaps the ugliness comes out when you're dealing with customer service personnel. Whatever it is that exposes the ugliness, ask the Lord to examine what is there and to change you from the inside out.