What’s on your mind today? What are you clinging to? Today, let us cling to good!
The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” Jeremiah 17:9 – NIV
When I was a teenager, my father carried around an unusual pocket knife. I am not sure he still has it, but the memory still sticks with me. Why? Because the blade of the knife was scary looking. It was a wide blade that curved to a sharp point, the end resembling a hawk’s beak. Hence, it was called a hawk bill knife.
It was a deadly looking thing, capable of cutting thick plastic or a strand of rope with ease. Like the hawk adept at using its sharp beak to sample its prey, that knife could wreak havoc with a mere stroke of the hand.
There is a Latin phrase for sin that translates “turned or curved inward on oneself.” When I recently came across this definition, I remembered that deadly knife, and how sin is like that curved blade being turned inward on ourselves, ripping, tearing, destroying whatever good lies in its path.
Scripture tells us that our hearts are deceitful by nature, divided in allegiance. We find it easy to focus on our own selfish desires, to seek worldly pleasures, to gratify our endless search for more. Though we don’t like to admit it, hate comes easily for us. We hate what we fear. We hate what is different, what we don’t understand, what makes us uncomfortable.
Hate comes easily, because sin comes easily. When sin enters into our soul, it slashes and slices, destroying the good, leaving a trail of wreckage in its path.
I know, I know. This is depressing. I can hear my mother now. And it is depressing, but it isn’t hopeless. Because of God’s amazing love for us, because of the glorious grace of Jesus Christ, we are not defenseless against the blade of sin’s wrath. We can choose to live differently.
In Romans 12:9, the Apostle Paul tells us that, “Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil, cling to what is good.” There’s that “hate” word again, but look where it’s directed. We are to hate what is evil, even to the point of hating the sin inside us that so easily entangles. We need to get rid of it, and Paul tells us how. “Cling to what is good.” Choose the good. Choose the right, the true, the love.
Yes, choose to love. Even when it doesn’t come naturally, choose love instead of hate.
So today, I’m trading my vision of that scary knife for a box of Saran Wrap. I want to pull out a sheet and let the good cling to me. Above all, I want to choose love.
And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart.
Ezekiel 36:26 – NLT
O Gracious God of Love, forgive us our sinful ways. Change our deceitful hearts, washing away the poison of sin, and replacing it with the goodness of love. Help us hate what is evil within us, and turn away from it. Empower us to cling to the good, that Your love might shine in us.