“Keep me from lying to myself;
give me the privilege of knowing your instructions” (Psalm 139:29)
I talk to myself more than anyone else, and it’s amazing the whiz-bang half-truths I tempt me into believing. Sometimes, I seem to know all there is to know about being better than them because of thus and so. I admire my ability to judge with such a sound mind, allow yours truly to extend grace only when I deem it’s appropriate. I set my little self on a towering pedestal and talk to God, quite certain He agrees with my smug, all-important point of view.
On a different day, after realizing how atrociously arrogant I am, I chide the tiny person inside. “You know better! Start hauling the log out of your own eye and quit nit-picking the speck out of his or hers.” I wallow with regret and slink down in shame. “Bad, Bad” I scold. I work to create ways to pay a price for such irreligious ways, and hide my face in shame from the One who judges righteously.
Can you relate?
“Keep me from lying to myself;” the psalmist pleads, “give me the privilege of knowing Your instructions.” Such a perfect prayer! A certain tax-gatherer once begged, “Have mercy on me, Oh Lord, for I am a sinner.” He honestly understood.
If we stop for a minute and let go of our twisted perspective (on any number of subjects), no matter how right it feels, and express our utter need for Him, then – like the sun breaking free from the horizon – His holy light has a chance to dawn on our convincing self-deception.
The cross comes into focus: “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus” (Romans 6:23).
His truth squelches the lie and loves us into the arms of pure, unadulterated grace.