A prayer for self-awareness

“For in his own eyes he flatters himself too much to detect or hate his sin” (Psalm 36:2).

The poetry of Psalm 36 paints a bluntly honest portrait of people consumed with sin.

  • They no longer see God clearly (vs. 1).
  • They no longer speak honestly (vs. 3).
  • They no longer think wisely (vs. 3).
  • They no longer discern prudently (vs. 4).

But it is verse two that catches my eye.

It is verse two that speaks to my nature of self-deception.

It is verse two that speaks to my need for self-awareness.

I wrestle in prayer with this psalm.

I wrestle with myself.

I wrestle with God.

And suddenly my focus is  turned from the deceit in the depths of my heart to the faithfulness in the heights of God’s heavens (vss. 5-9).

Your love, O LORD, reaches to the heavens,
your faithfulness to the skies.

Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains,
your justice like the great deep.
O LORD, you preserve both man and beast.

How priceless is your unfailing love!
Both high and low among men
find refuge in the shadow of your wings.

They feast on the abundance of your house;
you give them drink from your river of delights.

For with you is the fountain of life;
in your light we see light.

As I pray through this psalm, laying my heart before God and sorting through my heart’s motives, I am reminded that one of the best ways to increase self-awareness and decrease the pull of self-deception is to spend time pondering the love and faithfulness of God.

As I see God more clearly, I see myself more honestly.

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