“What is written in these pages I suppose will one day be read by others than myself. For this reason I cannot hope to be absolutely honest in what is herein recorded, for the hypocrisy of this shamming heart will ever be putting on a front and dares not write what is actually found in its abysmal depths. Yet, I pray Lord, that you will make these notations to be as nearly true to fact as is possible, that I may know my own heart and be able to definitely pray regarding my gross, though often unrecognized, inconsistencies. … These remarks are to be written from fresh, daily thoughts given from God, in mediation on His word.” — Jim Elliot, The Life and Testament of Jim Elliot - Shadow of the Almighty by Elisabeth Elliot
As I read excerpts of this man’s writings, I first of all am utterly jealous of his writing ability and the depth of thinking he reveals in it. But, even more so, am I astounded and convicted of the passionate love he has for God.
As I read his biography, I see a life lived with the purpose to know and love God. A life where nothing is of value apart from Christ. Yes, he was physically active, studious in school, had close friends, and was very smart. Yet, everything in his life only obtained value due to the purpose it has in Christ… and the worth of those things could not stand in the shadow of the glory of his Lord.
When he was 20 years old he prayed, “Lord make my way prosperous, not that I achieve high station, but that my life may be an exhibit to the value of knowing God.” Which is funny, because that is exactly what I see, a life that shows the value of knowing God.
And yet, the opening quote shows that in the abysmal depths of his heart, are gross sins of which he is admittedly ashamed to write about. Oh man, how I can relate! Not only have I come to realize my hatred towards this blog for that very reason, I realize how many useless private thoughts I contribute in my own journals. By useless, I mean unthoughtful sentences that are simply written to help hide the abysmal depths of my heart from even myself.
How can I be real with you if I can’t even be honest with myself? How can I confess my sins to God if I can’t even bring myself to recognize them? And how can I recognize them with silly little fake thoughts that go no deeper than my impure motives to look good to even myself?
If I spend time reading the Word but cannot seem to find something new and fresh, do I write a journal entry that indicates otherwise just so I can look like a perfect little Christian? Or can I be honest with God and confess my difficulty in my study that day? I will be honest, in the past I have stuck to the first of the two, unaware of the problem in it.
I also need to ask myself why on earth I feel the need to hide my ugly heart from myself? Do I foolishly believe by keeping myself oblivious, I am keeping my Savior unaware? And if that is the case, I am not only attempting the impossible (Jeremiah 23:24, Psalm 139:2-4, Job 34:21-22) , I am believing nonsense.
“Extravagant love is love with full knowledge. God loves extravagantly. He alone knows the true depth of my sin, yet He loves me more than anyone else loves me.” Therefore, there is no need to hide my sin from the one who saves me from them. In fact, it is deadly.
“For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer. I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not cover my iniquity; I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD,” and you forgave the iniquity of my sin.” Psalm 32:3-5