How to Test Yourself

Jeremiah 17:9 says, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” One way we can begin to understand our own darkness, foolishness, and disease is to ask a few questions:

  • Does your heart right now witness to you that you have left God’s goodness for other things?
  • What thing in your life do you love most?
  • What is the one thing you would keep if you had to lose everything else?

These questions get to the root of who and what our hearts love most. As 1 Samuel 16:7 says, “The LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.” The Bible describes people who do not love God most as:

  • blind
  • deaf
  • foolish
  • hypocritical
  • lost in the world
  • full of darkness
  • without hope
  • wicked
  • ignorant
  • God-less
  • dead

Some of the things that come out of these peoples’ hearts are:

  • greed, stealing, swindling
  • lies
  • slander
  • racism
  • prejudice
  • unjust practices
  • lust, sexual immorality, adultery, homosexuality
  • hatred, anger, violence
  • divisions, strife
  • grudges, unforgiveness, bitterness, rivalries
  • envy, jealousy
  • drunkenness, drug abuse, gluttony
  • love of money
  • love of people’s approval
  • love of self
  • love of music or sports or shopping or power

Do some of these describe your heart?

Whether God has changed you to life or you are still dead in your sin, your heart witnesses to you that many of these things describe your heart apart from Jesus Christ. For some of you, several of these characterize your life right now. Before we move on, take a moment to let the ugliness and sin in your heart weigh on you. Think over how awful it is that we hate the One Who made us for Himself. Think about how perfect and good He is and how evil and ugly we are before Him.

Jesus says in Mark 7:20-23, “What comes out of a person is what defiles him. For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.” How defiled we are! How our hearts lead us away from God!

[Excerpted from Gospel Root and Fruit, tentative title, forthcoming]

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About B Treece
loved by God before I ever loved Him, saved by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone by the authority of the Bible alone to the glory of God alone, made to enjoy Him forever, happily married with wonder-filled children.

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