Proverbs 16:2

All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes,
but the Lord weighs the spirit.

All our ways, even our sinful ways, seem right at the time. Our anger seems justifiable; our fudging of the truth seems reasonable; our pride feels more like concern for God’s honor; our idolatry seems harmless.

But we are to remember, it is the Lord who weighs the spirit. And the Lord weighs with accurate scales. Such a reality should be sobering and a relief. It should be sobering that nothing, not even the sin that we don’t see in ourselves, is missed by God. If we examine ourselves in light of that knowledge, we will see what we have unconsciously covered over. If we shed the defensiveness that makes us hypocrites even to ourselves and ask with sincerity “search me, o God,” then the more clear we will see ourselves and honestly weigh our motives.

This truth is also a relief in that it removes the burden of having to cover up our sinful motives. The Lord weighs the spirit with perfect equity. We gain nothing but grief and burden trying to justify ourselves; we gain nothing trying to make our ignoble ways seem pure. The Lord knows all. But if we strive for honesty with ourselves and the Lord; if we yield willingly to him our spirits to be examined, knowing that he will find much sin; then all the more we can revel in his grace and mercy. For our hope lies not in what the scales reveal about our sinfulness, but what they reveal about the weightiness of God’s grace and mercy, and about the justice rendered on the cross of Christ.

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