**Who can understand his errors? cleanse thou me from secret faults. Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression.** Psalm 19: 12, 13
During this past year, I have seen in myself and others the reality of our blindness to our own sin. Sin is such a natural part of our every day lives that we have accepted these behaviours as normal and right and acceptable.
For example, pride. We have an hundred ways to justify and mask our pride so as to think that its manifestation is actually a good thing. The need to have everything just the way we like is based in pride. The idea that only my way, my plan, my preferences, my teaching, my methods, my perspective is the only valid one is evidence of a prideful heart.
How many times do we get frustrated on any given day due to the idea that others should do things the way we say is the right way to do them?
Living in a foreign culture is a constant test of my pride. When my traditions or behaviors clash with this other culture, I have to be very careful to discern if the conflict is based on my thinking that my way is better, or if there is truly a God-given reason why it should be as I think. Some traditions are simply based on repeated, fam¡liar behavior, handed down through generations. Some are based on biblical principle. And others are simply ingrained in us by the media, television, movies, or storybooks, or social groups. We accept what is presented to us as real, or valid and we repeat it, creating a new tradition based on nothing but the opinion of another.
Many times we are so accustomed to our own traditions and preferences that we have never even considered examining them against God´s perspective. At our initial invitation to God to enter our lives and direct us, we are very sensitive to our sin and desire to make corrections in every area of our lives. But with time, we become desensitized to the hidden areas that still need to be cleaned up.
I remember thinking as a new Christian that one day I would be perfected by God and sin would no longer be an issue for me. Time and life has proven me wrong. My personal battle against sin is never ending. Because sin is not a handful of mistakes I make, but it is ingrained in my very being.
Thankfully, nothing is hidden from God and in his mercy, He gives us time to deal with all of these hidden issues. In Lamentations 3:22,23 it says ** It is of the LORD´s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. **
It is up to me to put myself before God on a regular basis and invite him to give me a fresh look at myself so that I can deal with areas of my life that I have left unexamined. Because He is kind and compassionate and Rich In Mercy, I do not have to fear this encounter with Truth. God will not show me 20 new areas to surrender to him. But He will show me one or two and He will give me time to chip away at them.
One last thought on this self-examination. I do not believe we should spend each day focused on our sin. I believe we should focus on the person of Jesus Christ and learn of Him. But as we learn more about Him, it brings us to a place of needing to do some Spring cleaning within ourselves. That is when I take some time to ask GOD´s opinion about my current state and if there is something specific that I need to deal with.
Don´t be afraid to ask God yourselves for a quick look at what´s going on inside your heart. He will show you in a gentle and kind way. If the answer feels harsh or overwhelming, it is not from God.