"Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right, persevering and steadfast spirit within me. Cast me not away from Your presence and take not Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation and uphold me with a willing spirit." Psalm 51:10-12 Amplified Bible
"Search me [thoroughly], O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there is any wicked or hurtful way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting." Psalm 139:23,24
"Who shall go up into the mountain of the Lord? Or who shall stand in His Holy Place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who has not lifted himself up to falsehood or to what is false, nor sworn deceitfully." Psalm 24:3,4
A clean heart, clean hands, a pure heart these I need. My need was plainly revealed to me last week. A while back our family had the experience of observing two women in a public gathering. These beautiful Christian women had fallen victim to something women frequently fall prey to when meeting for the first time: they were a bit cat-like in their behavior. When I say cat-like I don't mean sweetly adorable and fuzzy either. No, this was definitely more along the lines of quietly observing from afar with a growling hiss not far from the surface, so close to the surface it can almost be heard before it is voiced. I'm sure some of you have witnessed this occur in other gatherings when one women who feels she is the thinnest, prettiest, smartest, got the most going for her female present comes in contact with another women who is thin enough, smart enough, pretty enough, hip enough to be a threat by entering the first woman's territory. Not pretty is it?
Our family had witnessed this occur between two women we know and some of our children had commented on it. In full parent mode I acknowledged that I had seen, and felt, the obvious tension between the two women and expressed sad disappointment that it happened. I believe I said something along the lines of how sad it is that we can't all just get along and play nice since we are all professing believers in Christ. My response was really nice, kind, and Christian-ish with a sincere, loving parental tone covering it all. The discussion seemed to go well as we all agreed that such happenings are both sad and needless.
Later on, however, my contentment with our family's initial discussion was pushed aside by the revelation of a hidden ugly lurking in my heart. As I sat contemplating and praying about why such cattiness often happens between women I found myself thinking about the previous incident more and more. Before I knew it, the cattiness was no longer found in the remembrance of a tense atmosphere between the two female acquaintances. It was found coming out of my mouth! I was horrified at what came out of my thoughts and mouth! Where did that come from? I was catty myself!!! Not even a full minute later the scripture verse in Psalm 24 and Psalm 51 came across my path. Oh, how my heart wailed within me! It wailed the words of Psalm 51 that God would indeed create in me a clean heart and renew a right spirit within me. Psalm 24 asks Who will go up to the mountain of the Lord or into His Holy Place. I want to go up to the mountain of the Lord! I want to enter His Holy Place! I do.
I have found myself repeatedly praying the prayer found in Psalm 139 since that moment. "Search me [thoroughly], O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there is any wicked or hurtful way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting." Psalm 139:23,24 As I have prayed, God has revealed. As He has revealed, I have repented and confessed. As I have repented and confessed, He has forgiven and cleansed just as 1John 1:9 says He will. "If we [freely] admit that we have sinned and confess our sins, He is faithful and just (true to His own nature and promises) and will forgive our sins [dismiss our lawlessness] and [continuously] cleanse us from all unrigheousness [everything not in conformity to His will in purpose, thought, and action]." What a wondrous God!
I still wonder why we women have a tendency to get all catty and hissy. It may remain a mystery until the end. There is one thing that I do know though: Jesus has provided a way for me to be transformed into an image of Him. Women may always have this tendency, but I don't have to live this tendency out. Through Jesus I have been made free to live Love! My family, specifically my daughters, have also been made free through Jesus. We have the power in Him to live Love throughout our entire lives too! THAT is an amazing gift from God that we all can give thanks for!
Thanking Jesus for freedom to love,
Abundantly Blessed @ Abundance House