Men are notorious for avoiding doctors and dentists. (Most certainly, it’s a generalization.) They often wait until the problem is unavoidable or the pain is unbearable. They hate anyone prodding or poking at them.
Most people, both men and women, dislike revealing inner thoughts. Some few wear their feelings on the sleeves and tell their life stories to anyone who will listen, but they are avoided by the majority.
Even more, most people avoid even thinking about God knowing their every thought and impulse. They certainly would not offer up David’s prayer of invitation.
Examine me, O Lord, and test me. Evaluate my inner thoughts and motives, Psalm 26.2.
David believes he has integrity before God. He opens up his most intimate self to the Lord. This invitation to the Lord prefaces a list that demonstrates his devotion, which segues into a plea for rescue and mercy.
The NET translates “kidneys” as inner thoughts. Versions vary in their renderings: heart, mind, (deepest) thoughts. David invites the Lord to see what makes him tick.
David didn’t profess perfection, but rather devotion, dedication, and obedience. Oh, how we love to affirm that we are “sinners,” how no one is “perfect” (without sin)! The frequent confessions makes one wonder if they serve a function of silencing the conscience. Instead of change, the statements allow us to remain as we are.
Half-hearted people, who lack integrity, don’t make such appeals to God as David did. They prefer to ignore divine omniscience. They’re not about to appeal to God for help based on their devotion to the Lord and his people, nor on their holiness in keeping away from the godless.
So what is needed? Repentance, real change, whole-hearted service, rejection of worldliness and tepid acceptance of impure ways in the church of Christ.
Let God see our inner being. Let us invite him in, first, to cleanse and purify, and then to equip us to speak to others, to “tell about all [his] amazing deeds” Psalm 26.7.
If we don’t open up for him to operate and transform now, he’ll force his way in on Judgment Day:
For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any double-edged sword, piercing even to the point of dividing soul from spirit, and joints from marrow; it is able to judge the desires and thoughts of the heart. And no creature is hidden from God, but everything is naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must render an account, Hebrews 4.12-13.
If we hate being prodded or poked at now, waiting until the last minute will bring unbearable eternal pain.
The editor is learning openness. He is author of the book, Choose: 13 Choices to Transform Your Heart and Soul.