ODJ: No Masks

November 22, 2017 

READ: Psalm 51:1-19 

You desire honesty from the womb, teaching me wisdom even there (v.6).

Many years ago, my pastor was talking with a church youth group about “masks”. He asked the students to state what God would see under their masks, should they choose to remove them. What was under their façades? Most gave superficial answers, but one had a much more profound response. She had experienced a painful life that included a suicide attempt and had found trouble nearly everywhere she went. Quietly she said, “I think God would see brokenness, but he would also see beauty.”

In Psalm 51:6, David reminds us that God treasures honesty. He prayerfully sings, “But you desire honesty from the womb.” We can never be truly honest with others until we’re honest with God and ourselves first. Yet honesty can be brutal because it means admitting where we’ve failed and the places of brokenness in our lives.

But honesty also requires naming what is good, true and beautiful about God, the world and even ourselves. As Paul wrote, “Dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honourable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise” (Philippians 4:8).

In Psalm 51:17, David went on to declare, “The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit. You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God.” The young lady mentioned by my pastor eventually began to heal. Her healing began as she peeked out from under her crumbling mask and spoke the honest truth. Likewise, we can all be confident in removing our masks and telling the truth to God (and trusted others) because He will not reject our broken and repentant spirits (v.17).

—Marlena Graves

365-day-plan: Romans 8:19-39

Meditate on John 8:32 and consider why it’s so important for us to embrace God’s truth and the truth about ourselves. 
How are honesty and grace related? What would happen if you were more honest about your life and situation before God? 
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