March 17 Psalm 19
“The unexamined life is not worth living.” — Socrates
The psalmist suggests that while God and all of his creation are perfect, we as humans can only strive to do God’s perfect will, as we will not reach perfection while on earth. We have God’s commands to give us boundaries. However, sometimes we unknowingly step outside those boundaries. Other times, we willfully disregard God’s limits. While we cannot be perfect and need not torment ourselves about it, we can open ourselves to God’s guidance through our hearts, souls, and minds.
I Samuel 16:7 says, “. . . . The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearances but the Lord looks at the heart.” In our effort to follow as God leads us, we must examine the motivation behind our behaviors. Instead of merely trying to do “the right thing” or “the nice thing,” God asks us to go deeper and not only follow his commands with our actions, but also to gradually open our minds and hearts towards God’s purposes. When we think and feel that every human being has value and worth because they are a creation of God, regardless of what they can do for us or how productive they are, then we have turned away from the world’s example and are living defiantly. This process can begin with self-examination through prayer and meditation.
Lord, thank you for your blessings and patience. Please help me to honestly examine my heart; when I am consciously disobedient, please forgive my willfulness; when I cannot see my errors, please forgive my blindness. Holy Spirit, please intercede on my behalf and open my heart to your guidance. Amen.