“Create in me a clean heart, oh God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.”Psalm 51:10
Wash your hands. That has been the message we have been hearing for several months. Experts say that frequent hand washing reduces our chances of getting the COVID-19 virus.
Hand washing is not anything new. Moms have been telling kids to wash their hands for years, but the fight against a worldwide pandemic has amplified its importance. Washing our hands helps protect us from physical illness.
But what can we do to protect ourselves from other diseases? The symptoms of emotional and spiritual sickness are all around us. Blatant racism, lies, riots, and caustic rhetoric is prominent in the news and social media. This steady stream of information contaminates my heart, and I am sure it does yours too.
- I feel responsible for righting every injustice I read or hear about.
- I feel compelled to defend anyone being attacked unfairly.
- I feel obligated to correct widely circulated inaccurate information.
My instinct is to do something. But the realization that my something is not enough is paralyzing. The reason for that is simple. My attempts to fix a broken world are based on my own ideas and not God’s.
Though such a familiar verse, today I found this especially liberating.
“Create in me a clean heart, oh God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.”
Hearts polluted with ungodly thoughts cannot produce Godly actions. We must regularly approach the only One who can wash our hearts clean. How do we do that when there is so much competition for our attention?
We must guard our hearts from the influences of the world by changing how we interact with people. Imagine for a moment what might happen if:
- we spent more time praying for people than arguing with them.
- we were more concerned about pleasing God than pleasing others.
- we tested all opinions against Biblical truths.
- we read the Good News more than the news.
and finally . . .
- we prioritized making a defense for our faith over defending our opinions.
Our witness in the world matters. If our voice sounds like everyone else, our message is no different from that of a non-believer. The enemy tries to silence God’s people and we need to make sure that by the power of the Holy Spirit, he is not successful.
So yes, do something. Let God continually wash your heart and let Him lead whatever you do.
We have a living faith. Let us all live it out loud with action ordained by God alone.