I almost did it again. I saw a comment someone made on social media that was offensive to me. They had attacked someone else and used terrible language. Instinctively I wanted to lash out at them. I wanted to ask them exactly who they thought they were. Didn't they know that they were in fact, behaving just like the public figure they were criticizing? Didn't they realize that someone else was entitled to have an opinion that differed from their own and if they didn't like it, couldn't they at least have a civil tongue instead of spouting off profanity?
I actually started to type out my thoughts but then I stopped. Why? Because I suddenly realized that at the moment I had heart-trouble.
While the actions of that individual may have been unwarranted and even wrong, was the attitude of my own heart towards that person any better?
Immediately these words came to mind:
Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Psalm 51:10 (KJV)
I began to squirm a bit. Then I began to squirm a lot as God waited for my response.
I opened my mouth to say something dumb like, "But God, that was an awful thing that person did and someone (like me of course) needed to hold them accountable for it." Uh-oh. I shut my mouth before I went there. Yes, there is, of course, a time to speak but not when you need to tend to your own heart first. I had the wrong attitude towards this person and I knew it. I had a proud, self-righteous and indignant spirit at the moment and it needed to be rooted out before it choked me.
I deleted those words before I could send them and fell down at the feet of Jesus. David's prayer became my prayer yet again. I not only asked God to forgive me, I asked God to do more than that. I asked God to create in me a new heart and renew a right spirit within me.
This isn't a one time deal! We are continously tempted to do that which is not right. We are bombarded by impure thoughts and wrong attitudes. We must guard against them taking root in our heart.
The enemy is very subtle. Often we are not aware that he has slipped in and planted seeds. We don't notice him in that shady corner diligently watering and fertilizing those seeds and in fact, we may even admire them when they begin to grow and offer to help him care for them!
Psalm 51:10 needs to be our daily prayer. Is it?
Scripture quotation taken from the King James Version, Public Domain.