Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me.
1. Have you prayed this prayer today? It’s one that must be repeated daily—sometimes several times per day. Life is not fair. People are cruel. Every circle of relationships is filled with hurting people who, in turn, hurt others. Only those who can pray this prayer to escape this vicious cycle can dwell in His presence.
Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.
2. What about the person who has treated you unfairly and who may never ask for forgiveness? Did you pray for them and ask God to bless them today? Consider that the bitter weed of unforgiveness is polluting the wellspring of your life until, with God’s help, you are able to let go of the unfairness of your situation.
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.
3. What is my motive in this decision and action?
“…behavior is not the basic issue. The basic issue is always what is going on in the heart.” (p. 4, “Shepherding a Child’s Heart”) Means we use must be as pure as the ends we seek.
~ Martin Luther King, Jr.
Unto the pure all things [are] pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled. They profess that they know God; but in works they deny [him], being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.
4. Are you a hypocrite? Would you even know it if you were? A suggestion for you: ask someone in your love whom you trust to tell you if you show signs of being hypocritical. If they say “yes,” abandon everything until you feel that God has helped you begin correcting your behavior.
There are many who in word and tongue profess to know God, and yet in their lives and conversations deny and reject him; their practice is a contradiction to their profession. “They come unto thee as the people cometh, and they sit before thee as my people, and they hear thy words, but they will not do them: with their mouth they show much love, but their heart goeth after their covetousness” Ezekiel 33:31.
~ Matthew Henry
2 Timothy 2:22
Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.
5. To what attitudes and actions are your children and grandchildren responding in your life? Do you demand compliance without communication? Do you demand behavior without showing example? Do you demand respect, compassion, and understanding without showing it to others in your family, congregation and life circle? Those who look to you usually respond to your motives instead of your actions.
Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? or who shall stand in his holy place? He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully.
6. Of what importance is your position and title to you? How would your outlook and attitude change if it were taken away? To what purpose to you use your title and position?
Power is not alluring to pure minds.
~ Thomas Jefferson
A Psalm of Asaph. Truly God [is] good to Israel, [even] to such as are of a clean heart.
7. Is your view of God based on what happens to you or who He is? Do material possessions, titles, favor, or actions of others dictate your view of how good God is? Are you angry with God over a past situation? Do you really believe God is a good God?
1 Peter 1:22
Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently:
8. Is your love of others based on what their relationship with you will bring to you? Are they a project? Are they a path to another social circle? Does your kindness to them bring you a satisfaction of ministering to one you consider to be “inferior” or “superior” to you?
A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.
9. Of what does your conversation consist? Take a 24-hour period and write down the subject and tone of every conversation you have within that time. Is it positive or negative? Is it complaining or thanking? Is it Godly or ungodly? Is it critical or affirming? Is it building up or tearing down? If there is a problem, a good “mind over matter” talk to yourself about changing your conversation won’t fix it. You must get alone with Him and let him perform heart surgery.
Anyone who tells a lie has not a pure heart, and cannot make a good soup.
~ Ludwig van Beethoven
Proverbs 20:6-7, 9
Most men will proclaim every one his own goodness: but a faithful man who can find? The just [man] walketh in his integrity: his children [are] blessed after him. Who can say, I have made my heart clean, I am pure from my sin?
10. Is your life based on convictions or expectations? Do you interact with others through love or tolerance? Do you live by rules or relationship? Are you consistent or unconvinced? Our children and grandchildren will become what we are, not what we say we are.
Behaviors, attitudes, and actions are only visible manifestations of the unseen condition of the heart. Our behaviors, attitudes, and actions will only change after we allow God to cleanse our heart.