The Tale-Tell Heart
The Tale-Tell Heart
‘The heart is more deceitful than all else..I, the Lord, search the heart.”
The most deceptive person we encounter is ourselves. The most difficult thing to admit is that we have a corrupt nature. In the Old Testament, the heart is seen as the center of the individual and refers to the totality of our inner or immaterial nature. Thus the term is used to refer to our mind, character, and disposition. It serves to encompass the three traditional personality functions of a person: emotions, thoughts, and will. Yet even as it describes the totality of who we are, the scriptures warn of its danger. The heart is corrupted by sin and is self-deceptive. The Bible shows that the heart is the center of our sinful nature. When Adam and Eve sinned, our total being was corrupted by its effect. No longer is our inward being trustworthy. Yet, as humans, we continue to turn to human reason and our inward thoughts to determine right and wrong. Our favorite saying in any debate is, “well, I think!”
However, God warns of the dangers of trusting in humanity in our search for truth. Because of sin, it is corrupted beyond hope. To trust in society for truth and morality is to turn away from God, leading to our self-deception. The first step towards discovering the truth is to recognizes that our inner being is “desperately sick” (vs. 9). The human heart has an unlimited capacity for sin and is self-deceiving. As a result, it is beyond our ability to change. The phrase “desperately sick” refers to an illness that cannot be cured. To trust in humanity’s moral compass is to be led down a primrose path of destruction. To “let your conscience be your guide” is to choose the road leading to our self-destruction.
Just when it seems as if we are hopeless, God provides us with the answer. The answer is him. God searches the heart and tests the mind. He can peel away the folly of our self-deception and reveal our need for transformation. The answer to life is not trusting in ourselves but learning to trust God. When we look to God and his word for our salvation and for guidance in right and wrong, we will be like a tree planted by streams of water. When adversity strikes, the person trusting in God remains untouched. Even in the most severe trials, the person who trusts in God enjoys spiritual prosperity.
When we recognize our helplessness and inward corruption, we discover the answer to life. So corrupt are we that nothing short of a complete rebirth will bring the remedy. Yet this is precisely what Christ does for us. “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature (literally a new creation); the old things passed away; behold, new things have come” (2 Corinthians 5:17). Christ does what we cannot do for ourselves; he changes our hearts.
Where do you turn to gain your moral and spiritual compass in life? To whom do you turn to find answers today for determining right and wrong? If you turn to yourself or the popular culture, you follow what is morally corrupt. Clarity and direction come when we turn to God and his word, for only in him can we discover what is true.