In today’s passage, David asks a sincere question: who can abide in the presence of God or better yet, who can dwell there? He answers his inquiry in the next couple of verses, beginning with the statements that one must walk uprightly and do good things. Makes sense. After all, we’re not talking about requirements for salvation here but rather what it takes to be at home with God.
Notice the last phrase of verse 2: and speaketh the truth in his heart. I studied this out, and most scholars agree this is referring to being honest with other people, and they could be right. But if you notice the wording, it talks about speaking the truth in the heart, not from the heart. Could it be the psalmist is referring to being honest with ourselves?
If you’ve followed my writing for any length of time, you know I’m an advocate for speaking the truth in love. I lay it all out there—the good, the bad, and the ugly. Some of my readers appreciate that about me while others have unsubscribed from my daily emails and even told me my honesty was anything but refreshing. Oh, well. It goes to show you can’t please everyone. But, I believe in being honest and telling things like they are, but with the voices within my own heart, well, it's often a different story.
What do I believe about myself? On a good day, I feel I am intelligent and capable, a sweet wife, a loving doggie mom, a fair pianist, a compelling speaker and author. On my bad days, however, the messages are not so kind. Instead, I believe I’m lazy, useless, and worthless; a complete failure in every area. The more lies I believe in my heart, the farther I feel from my loving Father. How could He love me? Why would He love me? I’m sure I’m just a disappointment to Him, so I won’t even waste His time. Instead of speaking truth in my heart, I’m allowing a hundred lies or more to steal my peace, my joy, and my fellowship with the One who knows the truth about me more than anyone else. He sees what others can’t and loves me anyway.
We are all careless with our words from time to time, but we’re worse when dealing with ourselves. We show no mercy and offer no compassion. Instead, we judge ourselves harshly and offer condemnation, which results in a gaping void between the Lord and us. After all, it’s hard to abide in the presence of TRUTH when we’re speaking nothing but lies in our heart.
Let’s be kind to ourselves today. Yes, we make mistakes. We are human, right? But we must treat ourselves with as much grace as we offer to others, but more than that, we must speak the truth in our hearts. We’re not failures because Jesus proclaimed we are more than conquerors. We’re not worthless because Jesus believed we were worth dying for. Just as we discussed in yesterday’s devotions, the Bible—not our feelings—is the source of truth.
It’s God’s word against yours. Which will you believe?