“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it? I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind, even to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings.” -Jeremiah 17:9-10 NKJV
The Bible is the only tool capable of diagnosing our ailments perfectly. The God who formed the world, shaped mankind from the dust of the ground, and gave him the breath of life should be the highest and most qualified person to assess our hearts and minds. This eternal God wrote a book called the Bible.
In the world, I see that there are many things which are deceitful and wicked. It can be easy to point a finger at what is evident around me and know there is a problem. In my own life, I can err on one ditch and be consumed with self-reflection. I can try and dig down into the well of motives and intentions and find myself in despair and hopelessness. I can also err on the other side and think of myself as nothing more than an eyeball; never seeing myself at all, yet seeing everything around me. The Bible is so important for our life and well-being. It speaks eternal truth intended to correct our misconceptions of ourselves and our world.
God tells me that my heart is wicked beyond desperation, and deceitful above all things. Everything I might look at in condemnation falls short of the evil which resides in my own breast. This truth can cause me to sink below the surface, pull inside my shell, and hibernate deep in the mud like a turtle. God does not want me to do such things. He shines the light of truth from the pages of scripture and reminds me “who can know it?” Right. Who can know it? If God alone can know my heart, then what business do I have searching the insides of my shell like a paleontologist inspecting the walls of a cave? There has to be a balance between playing peek-a-boo, and forgetting I’m a mud dwelling turtle.
God is the one who knows my heart. He searches and tests my mind. This is his work. “He gives every man according to his ways, according to his doings.” The balance must be to trust him as a loving redeeming Father to reveal to me what he wants me to know. After all, he sent his Son from heaven to earth in order to redeem my life from the pit. Won’t he also point the light of his Spirit upon which recess of the walls he wants inspected? The Spirit’s job is to convict the world of sin, righteousness, and the judgement to come. This is not my job.