September Psalms: Let's Be Honest
Lord, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? Who shall dwell in thy holy hill? He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart. ~Psalm 15:1-2
To live in a way that truly reflects Christ, we need to do two things: follow the infallible Word of God, and be honest with ourselves.
One of the mentors in my life recently posed this idea to me, and the wisdom in it resonated with me, especially when paired with this verse. At the time, I was making the point that the Bible is all we need—that every spiritual guideline necessary to lead Christ-like lives can be found with its pages, which, of course, is true enough. But there was a component that I was forgetting, one that goes hand in hand with the Word: the element of honesty with ourselves, of speaking the truth in our hearts.
The Bible is a complete map to holy living. It's true that every instruction we need to "walk uprightly" and "work righteousness" has been given in God's perfect Word. But even if we know the Good Book from cover to cover, even if every guideline, encouragement, story, and truth is memorized in our minds, if we don't see ourselves as we truly are, we'll never see how they apply to us.
We can read the Bible and appreciate the wisdom of its teachings. We can know the lessons Jesus left for our benefit: warnings against pride and hatred, blessings for the humble, meek, and loving, and so on. At the end of the day, though, we need to look in the mirror and consider the ways in which Jesus was speaking to us personally. We need to speak the truth in our hearts, be honest with ourselves, examine the areas in need of his correction, the areas in which we are weak, broken, faulty. Without the ability to examine ourselves, to be honest with ourselves about the brokenness within us, we cannot apply the infallible teachings of the Word to our own lives.
The Word teaches how to walk uprightly and work righteousness, but it can only cleanse us from within when we truthfully acknowledge the conditions of our hearts.