by Dorette Saunders
It’s always wise to examine your motives, especially when your deed garners the praise of others. Did you do it so the spotlight would swivel on you, or were your actions guided by integrity: doing the right thing, at the right time, for the right reason, to benefit someone else? Our deeds, no matter how lofty they are, will be bereft of value if the motivation behind them is corrupt.
The Bible states that David, the psalmist and king, was a man after God’s own heart. To be sure this man was not perfect. We often remember him from Sunday School lessons or songs in which he played music on his harp, or used smooth stones to kill the evil giant Goliath. But in the world of grown-ups, he committed adultery and attempted to cover up his sin by having his lover’s husband killed when she becomes pregnant.
Was David, a man after God’s own heart? Yes, indeed. Whatever the condition of our heart, God offers to transform it if we repent of our sin, ask forgiveness, and turn away from wrongdoing. And, David did just that. Listen to David’s prayer:
Wash me with hyssop
until I am clean
and whiter than snow.
Turn your eyes from my sin
and cover my guilt.
Create pure thoughts in me
and make me faithful again.
Don't chase me away from you
or take your Holy Spirit
away from me.
Make me as happy as you did
when you saved me;
make me want to obey!
(Psalm 51: 7, 9-11, CEV)
or our hearts to be clean, we need the transforming power of God, a spiritual power wash that removes not just the sin but the accompanying guilt and shame.
When we are in sync with God’s Spirit we are reminded:
“Finally, my friends, keep your minds on whatever is true, pure, right, holy, friendly, and proper. Don't ever stop thinking about what is truly worthwhile and worthy of praise” (Philippians 4:8, CEV).
O how we wish we could more easily keep our minds focused on what is “true, pure, right, holy, friendly, and proper!” Yet, it can be done. Just think: our thoughts form our actions, and our actions, over time, our character. And our character is guided by our heart. So it’s important that our hearts are clean. It’s important that we rely on God’s Holy Spirit to make us obedient and keep us in line with what God expects of us. Each of us can be someone who desires to emulate our Savior, who seeks God’s presence and desires to live in right standing with God.
Let’s ask God to give us a clean heart so we may not only serve him, but also share Christ’s love and compassion unselfishly with those whom he came to save.
PRAYER: Lord, we repent of our deeds that derail us from living the way you taught us to live. Cleanse our hearts. Transform our minds. Let them reflect your ways and your heart. Let our motives be pure always. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.