Deceitful Hearts

Written on 07/08/2021
Christian Dunn

Verse: Proverbs 21:2
A person may think their own ways are right, but the Lord weighs the heart.

Have you ever been so convinced you were right about something, and then discovered (usually resulting in losing an argument!) that you were wrong? That's never happened to me, but I hear it's really painful. (ha, ha...)

There is a humility to this proverb that is hard to find in our current culture. Throughout Proverbs, in fact, there is a theme of learning to distrust our assumption that we know best, and instead choosing to trust in the way of the Lord.

Proverbs 16:2 - All a person’s ways seem pure to them, but motives are weighed by the Lord.

Proverbs 3:5 - Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;

Proverbs 28:26 - Whoever trusts in his own mind is a fool, but he who walks in wisdom will be delivered.

This flies in the face of modern day assumed wisdom that truth is found Within (yes I've read this where people capitalize "Within" to show how important your inner desires and thought are), and that you are to distrust everyone else except your own desires. But the Bible in general, and Proverbs in particular, definitely teach a different logic. 

The prophet Jeremiah echoed this sentiment when we said, "The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?" Is it a lack of self-love to affirm that we are inclined to selfish motives? Is it a lack of self confidence to admit our motives are often impure, misguided, or even hidden to us?

The gospel message offers us a liberating way to see our selves. It is honest and refreshing. The gospel message is that our hearts are sinful and even deceitful! Sometimes when we do something good, our motives are still selfish (yes that's happened to me too!). But the good news is that Jesus invites us to bring all that to him. He offers us a path of forgiveness from him, forgiveness for ourselves, and wisdom to learn to walk in true humility, surrender, and peace.

It is not the path of self-aggrandizement that leads to life, according to the Scriptures, it is the path of humility. And in humility we find the life Jesus offers us. This is why James offers us this life giving principle: James 4:10 - Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.

I pray that you would show me the areas in my life where I am trusting myself instead of you.