Psalm 139 ESV Part 1/2 Search me (600 words)
Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my
And see if there be any grievous way in me,
And lead me in the way everlasting
Simple Question: “Are you perfect?”
This is one of my favorite evangelistic questions these days as it perfectly sets the stage to help explain the gospel (Side Note: This is a question I only ask after we’ve decided to have a discussion on spiritual matters. This isn’t a question I spring on people in the street). It’s a simple yes or no question. However, some may try to avoid to premise of the question all together but deep down we all understand this is a legitimate question. So it leaves us with two paths, one which would be very difficult to defend (“Yes, I am perfect”) while the other is easily understandable to most people (“No, I have flaws like everyone else”).
To those who would try to answer yes, they may do so for various different reasons that I would find easily flawed. The narcissist may actually believe they are perfect and would take offense to even being asked the question. The naïve may believe it because it’s what they’ve been told and they have never been questioned on the subject before. The arrogant believe it because they refuse to see comprehend something may be wrong with them. To answer yes, would be a grievous miscalculation of your ability to read yourself and others. If no one has ever told you something wrong with you, you either have bad friends or you’ve most likely turned a blind eye to your dark side.
So, it leaves us with one answer which is that we’re not perfect. From that we can assume therefore, we are broken. This is a really tough jump for people because it’s easy to flaunt humility and deny perfection. It’s another thing to actively admit to one’s flaws. This may lead to a second type of downfall, four of which I list below:
- Justification “Nobody is perfect. So is it really bad?”
- Minimize “Yeah but I’m only a little broken”
- Denial “Everyone is broken, so who cares?”
- Deflection “I’m not as bad as some people.”
We do this because it’s hard to get down to who we really are without our barriers rearing their ugly heads. This is why this is the first of the dangerous prayers Groeschel asks us to participate in. Getting to transparency, honesty and a ruthless accountability of who we really are is dangerous. We may unearth things we hoped we could keep buried for a long time. We are going to find skeletons deep in our closets we hoped we wouldn’t ever have to look in the face (or rather skull) again. We are going to see sin and brokenness that may scar our very image of ourselves to the point where we are never going to see ourselves as lovable ever again.
In this there is hope.
God says, “I do see you. I have always seen you and your imperfections. And I still sent my son to die for you out of love for you!” And I tell you the truth, when you finally see the depth of your sin and your brokenness and your depravity to the depths of hell which you buried long ago and you know Jesus gave his life for that person, then you’ll truly know the love of God for you.
But first, you have to see yourself honestly and it all starts with a prayer. Search me, know me, my heart and my thoughts and reveal to me the depths of my soul, even the darkest corners that I have kept from myself because they’re too painful to look at.
Search me, O God!
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