"Why did you do that?" I immediately felt defensive and ready for "battle". At times, I would prefer to defend a wrong decision than admit to a mistake. To what extent would I go to preserve my self-esteem? I hope not far. But to be honest, at times it is hard to hear the truth, especially when it is not flattering. It can be even more difficult to "hear the truth" from my own heart when in search of earnest self evaluation.
Honest assessment seems, at times, a declining art. Truth telling in love is hidden under a mountain of political correctness and politeness. Have you ever received a recommendation that only told you the "nice stuff" about a candidate for a job and did not reveal problem areas that might need attention? Covering over problems rather than helping to correct issues multiplies the problem. In my case, I wanted to defend myself rather than find a correct path.
Evaluation and assessment of our spiritual lives is usually an even more infrequent activity. Without "honest heart assessment" with God, absurd circumstances can result. For instance:
- A prayer and devotional life without godly daily living, or
- No prayer or devotional life with "grand appearances" of godliness
Opening our hearts for God's examination can be a tough task. For what we see may not please us. Opening our lives to assessment from trusted friends can be "hard to swallow" also.
Let us be brave in either situation, especially as we speak with the Father, saying, as King David said,
"Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting." (Psalm 139:23-24 NIV)