It is usually very easy for us to see the faults in others, and to call them into accountability by having them undergo some type of personal review or inspection. However, we are less enthusiastic to allow ourselves to be so scrutinized.
King David experienced this kind of duplicity and wrote of it in Psalm 139. As he considered people who have hatred and disrespect towards God, he wrote,
Do I not hate those who hate you, Lord,
and abhor those who are in rebellion against you?
I have nothing but hatred for them;
I count them my enemies.
As his disdain for his enemies rose, it seems the Lord caused David to do some self-reflection, where he remembers some of his own short-comings. Possessing a more complete perspective, David’s prayer changes. He asks the Lord to focus on his issues. He prays,
Search me, God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.
When we allow the Lord to do a check up on our own hearts, we discover that He changes our attitudes and outlooks from judgmental to merciful. We stop looking for the faults in others and begin to deal with the challenges within us. As we continue on the 40-day journey of prayer, may the Lord search us for any harmful ways, and lead us to the newness of life in Him!