“Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” Psalm 139:23,24
Introspection is looking inside your own mind and heart, and that can be a scary place to go for many of us. It is a brave soul that looks into their own lives with real honesty, actually wanting to see and know the truth. There are few friends or family members that we would give such an invitation to, to come inside our lives and know the real us. Yet David invites God not only to come inside but to poke around and then report on what he finds. That is an action that requires not only faith but also trust. Someone that you are willing to open up to is someone you are willing to believe that they have your best interest at heart and won’t use that kind of knowledge to hurt you.
What might you find if you go on such a journey and especially taking the Lord along with you? David specifically wants to know about those things that worry him; he invites God to know his anxious thoughts. There are two mistakes we most often make with worry. One is to give it too much control and to over worry about a situation or problem. Really taking an honest look at what we are worried about means to put it in the proper context and remember since we are bringing God along we want his input and insight. How does he see the problem? The other mistake is to blow it off too easily. Just like an infection, sin in our lives that’s not dealt with will only fester and get worse. That is one of David’s other requests of God in this prayer, see if there is any offensive way in me. Do we in some way offend God? One of the hardest things to receive is good constructive criticism. A friend or spouse may ask you what you really think about their appearance or something they have just said, but we know asking for and receiving graciously are two different things. Yet how am I to grow and make improvements if I’m not open to hearing what others have to say.
Finally David asks God to lead him in the way everlasting. What action steps are you willing to take based on the outcome of the examination? When something goes wrong in our nation often times one or more of the branches of government will call for an investigation. Hundreds of man hours and millions of dollars will be spent looking into it, page after page will be written with recommendations on what to do, and that is usually the end of it. The recommendations, well thought out by people we deemed knowledgeable enough to look into it, often go unheeded. David didn’t want the information to go on a shelf somewhere forgotten. He wanted God to take what was learned and to lead him on the right path.
Are you willing to take a deep dive into your heart and mind, and to take the Lord along with you? Will you ask yourself the hard questions and listen to the even harder answers? Will you be willing to act on what God has to reveal to you?