Beliefnet
Your Morning Cup of Inspiration

“God, examine me and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.  See if there is any bad thing in me.  Lead me on the road to everlasting life.”  Psalm 139: 23-24

In Psalm 139, King David offers an apt description of how God can work in our lives – if only we will let Him. God knows our hearts.  He knows both our good qualities and our bad ones.  He knows where we need to change.

God wants us to become the best version of ourselves. In fact, I’m always amazed at how persistent God is when it comes to changing me for the better.  For instance, I have a problem with being impatient.  I get irritated about certain things.  For example, it drives me up a wall when folks use the television as background noise (as opposed to playing classical music, or something equally pleasant).  I get annoyed if people don’t make their beds.  I hate it when strangers stand too close to me.  And it bugs me to no end when people fail to say, “Thank you.”  My list of irritations goes on and on.

When these kinds of issues arise repeatedly, I initially am surprised. But then I take a step back and realize that God is testing me. Again.  God could easily eliminate these issues, but that wouldn’t solve my problem with being irritable.

God wants to refine our characters. He wants us to become spiritually and emotionally mature.  He wants us to be kinder, gentler, and more decent people.  So throughout our lives, He will keep testing us in the areas where we need the most work.

God not only knows the ways in which we need to improve, He knows when we are trying our best to improve. He sees us do the right thing when no one is looking.  He knows when we are overwhelmed and want to lash out at everyone, but instead we go to the bathroom and have a good cry.  He knows when I bite my tongue when I am irritated, instead of snapping at people.  God sees it all.

Until the day we die, we are all God’s works in progress. He doesn’t expect us to be perfect.  He only expects us to try.  And the hope is that along the way, with His help, we will keep improving.  The character flaws that plagued us in the past hopefully will be corrected at some point.  And then we can move on and tackle new areas.

This week, consider David’s plea in Psalm 139. Like King David, we should be asking God to work with us until we eliminate those bad things in our characters that prevent us from being our best.  Think about the areas in your character that need to change and ask God to help you.  The growing process may be uncomfortable, but the benefits of a better character will be worth the trouble.

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