Thought for the week
‘Create in me a clean heart, oh God, and put a new and right spirit within me’ Psalm 51 v10
THE season of Lent is here. Lent is a time of preparation, of spiritual spring- cleaning and reconditioning which can challenge us to reflect on our relationship with God and each other. Lent provides opportunities to assess rough and hard experiences of life, the inner wounds we carry, along with the things that are worthwhile and health promoting, and, most importantly, the place we give to God in our living.
The psalmist recognised that what was crucial and central to daily life was a willingness to have God remake his heart, to have his whole motivation tuned into God’s way of being. He cried out to God, asking for the gift of spiritual reconditioning, for ‘a clean heart and right spirit’, which is God’s hea rt - t rans forming work, offered to all who turn to Him. The psalmist knew that this was the only way to live close to God and so find inner peace and wellbeing.
Jesus explained to his followers and the religious officials that those things which defile someone, and show up people for what they really are, come from the heart – the lies, the evil ideas, the hate, the meanness.
These actions come, not from outward behaviours, but from the heart, and cannot be washed away by water or removed by some legal formula.
The only remedy is repentance and God’s forgiveness. Only then can God’s heart-remake establish a right relationship with Him and others. This ‘new and right spirit’ engenders a grateful heart that recognises God’s grace and mercy towards us, bringing a new way of living.
Make this Lent season a time of being reconditioned and refreshed by God.