Create in me a clean heart....
Why is it that whatever I teach in my Sunday School class is stepped up in my own personal life? That was a rhetorical question; I already know the answer. God has been using these lessons as well as other things in my life to point out some of my issues where I still allow the old self to pop up.
I think one reason I keep returning to the sin of pride is that it underlies so many of the sins we commit as human beings. Anger - how dare that person hurt me....; Greed - I deserve those things....; Gossip - I know something you don't know....; Backbiting/slander - I deserve to get even/hurt that person.... Whenever we have a reoccuring sin, it almost always boils down to pride or the sin of rebellion in the end. After all, that's what pride is: rebellion.
When I lose my temper, I am rebelling against perceived injustice; etc. I, like everyone else I know, am not real fond of looking at the sin in my life. In my rebellion, I want to see myself as perfect or at least "not as bad" as the other guy. But, in God's eyes, sin is sin is sin, and even if I perceive myself as "better than" others in some way, it is an illusion and must, inevitably, come crashing down if I am shining the light of God's Word upon my heart. For many of us, the idea that we have pride or the "at least I'm better than that person" syndrome is far from our conscious mind unless and until God points it out to us.
I read recently that a survey of convicts in prison showed that not one of them really believes he or she is a "bad" person. No matter what crime was committed, they justify their actions and still consider themselves to be good people who maybe did something wrong. I'm guessing this even applies to murderers! All humans have this tendency to justify their own actions, beliefs, etc. while condemning others for theirs. We magnify the sins of others and minimize our own sin. When we ask God to cleanse our hearts and show us the wickedness therein, we can often become overwhelmed by what He shows us.
I have learned never to rest on my laurels and never to think I've arrived and vanquished sin from my life. Every time I do, God bursts my bubble and shows me how a sin is not quite dealt with or a new way it pops up in my life. This is one reason I love my God and my Savior so much! He saw the wickedness of my heart before I was born, and provided a way for me to be forgiven and have renewed fellowship with Him.
But God commendeth His love toward me, in that, while I was yet a sinner, Christ died for me!!! (Personalized Romans 5:8KJV) No, taking an honest look at the sin in my life is not a fun thing to do, but I'm so glad I can deal with it by placing it under the blood of Jesus Christ - FORGIVEN!!!!!!!
"Amazing love, how can it be?
That you, my King, should die for me?
Amazing love, I know it's true;
It is my joy to honor You, in all I do!"