I am filled with trembling. I pick up the my Bible, and the thoughts and intentions of my heart are revealed and all that is left is to cast myself and the tender mercies of Jesus. This is a good thing.
See, often when I become conscious of my own sinfulness, I run away. As if there were something good dwelling in me apart from Christ, or that He required something of me other than His own work. When the mirror was held up, I was filled with self-loathing and condemnation, and I hardened my heart to the work of the Holy Spirit in order to protect myself.
(And what lie is this, that I cannot fully trust the One who knows me better then I even know myself, and He loves me anyway. He is good. He loves me and He is good.)
This leads me to a practice of religion and not faith where my goodness or sinfulness rests entirely on what others perceive of me or in me. If I can convince myself and everyone else that I am good enough, I can somehow outrun dealing with my own heart issues.
We read 1 Corinthians 13 last week with the kids, and Shane pointed out a verse that really stuck with me from our reading as well. It’s this one: “And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.”
Giving my all my goods to the poor, giving my body to be burned, those are things that look a lot like love. I could even convince myself that those things are love. Without the work of Christ, the only One who is love, they are nothing.
All I can do is throw myself of Christ’s mercy, to roll my works onto Him. Even when my heart is desperately wicked, and I cannot rightly discern it. God is greater than my heart. In me is death and no goodness at all. In him is Life. I cling to the promise that I will not die but live, and declare the works of the Lord.