This morning I read Psalm 36 which immediately jumped out and hit me in my overly large forehead:
Transgression speaks to the wicked
deep in his heart;
there is no fear of God
before his eyes.
For he flatters himself in his own eyes
that his iniquity cannot be found out and hated.
(Psalm 36:1-2 ESV)
Transgression (or ‘sin’) is deep in our heart, it starts internally as if we needed further proof that we are all sinners from birth. (As Cross Movement puts it “long before the cradle, sin seeped into our navel…”) The choice to sin then, is a choice ultimately of who we are pleasing – God or ourselves. When we sin we are choosing ourselves over God, as the Psalmist says there is ‘no fear of God’ before our eyes. Fear meaning a respect or reverence or position in our lives. Bottom line: we put ourselves above God.
One of our favorite counseling diagrams is the “Y-Chart.” It is a simple graphic that shows where thoughts originate (our hearts), the thoughts bubble up to the surface as we get closer to actions and we have a choice to make – please God or please ourselves. Pleasing God is based on truth and seems hard at first, but later on the way is easier. Pleasing ourselves is based on following our feelings and seems easy at first, but later on is much harder.
We are all wired to follow our feelings and please ourselves – that’s the work of God in the Holy Spirit thru Jesus’ life and work to free us from that bondage and give us a new heart, a new life! Then we walk in newness and abundance of life because we are living closer to the way God desired – to honor him, bring glory to him, to please him – not ourselves.
For with you is the fountain of life;
in your light do we see light.
(Psalm 36:9 ESV)
PS: A big thank you to another blogger who posted a great version of the Y-Chart.