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A couple of years ago, after our kids had moved out of the house, my husband and I decided to downsize and move into a much, much smaller place. So we started to sift though all of our stuff. We dug out boxes from closets, the attic, laundry room and of course our 2 car garage which over the course of 8 years went from housing 2 cars to housing a big huge pile of stuff, no cars would fit. We sorted through everything from Barbies to books, furniture, clothes and half used shampoo.…there was SO MUCH STUFF. We started making piles: Keep (very small pile), give away (more trips to Goodwill than I can count), throw away.
All of the throw away pile went out to the curb. Our trash service would pick up anything without an engine, so we took full advantage. The pile of stuff filled up half our front yard. As helpful and necessary as it was, it was also really embarrassing. It felt like all of our old junk was just laying out there for all of our neighbors to see. It didn’t just feel that way, it was that way. There it was, uncovered and laying public in the street for anyone who wanted to judge.
Reading Psalm 139, verses 23 and 24 in particular make me feel that same way. “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.” (NLT)
Why would David even ask this of God? Search me…test me…know my anxiety…point out anything that is wrong with me???? No thank you. I really don't want to be wrong and if I am I certainly don’t want it pointed out, or worse yet have to admit it to anyone else. It’s like having all of my old junk dragged out to the curb and put on display to be viewed and judged by anyone passing by.
What if, when we were moving, we didn’t actually pull all that junk out and dispose of it? What if, instead, we pushed it further back into the cabinet, shelf or attic and then, when it was pushed as far back as it would go, we took a can of paint and just painted over it so that it matched the walls? That way we wouldn’t have to feel uncomfortable about how out of control our junk collection had gotten. It would be pushed out of everyone’s way and with a fresh coat of paint no one would even notice it, just like it wasn’t there at all.
And that is what we try to do with our hearts…instead of identifying what is wrong, unproductive or useless and cleaning it out, we take the seemingly less painful route. We push it into the darkest corner and just incase someone can still see it we cover it over with a fresh coat of “I’m fine.” Why would we ever admit that there is something wrong or that we are wrong. Why invite that kind of scrutiny and discomfort?
But that is exactly what David is imploring God to do in his life. Try me, search me, hardest of all KNOW ME. It may seem easy for a “man after God’s own heart” to ask this of God. How hard could that be? It’s not like God was going to find anything wrong there, right? Actually, these words were coming from an adulterous murderer whose actions led to the death of his infant son. (see 2 Samuel 11-12). David learned first hand the danger of keeping things pushed down and hidden away. As painful as he knew it could be for someone to know him, really know his heart, way down deep, he understood the destruction that can come from not rooting out the anxious thoughts and ways that are offensive to God. Shining a light and giving God permission to get in there and clean things out is the only way to be led along the path of everlasting life.
Several years ago, I was listening to a sermon by one of my favorite preachers, Aarron Schwartz, and he said something that I wrote on a little piece of paper that I ended up pulling out of my purse to read over and over again until it became a tattered scrap. I recopied it several times and to this day have it on on my desk as a daily reminder. This is what he said…
“So I have to ask if I would rather be exalted by others until they figure out my failures, or exalted by Christ because I have already confessed them to Him.”
It may be uncomfortable, it may be embarrassing, but it is worth it….
“Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
Point out anything in me that offends you,
and lead me along the path of everlasting life.”
Debbie Dartt Ministries © 2017
"But, I Don't Want To Be Wrong! "