Proverbs 16:2

“All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes,

  but the Lord weighs the spirit.”

Proverbs 16:2 ESV

One of the things this verse identifies is the amazing ability of man to justify himself. This may happen in a few ways: first, by shifting the blame for a wrong committed to someone else; or second, by (intentionally or unintentionally) not recognizing our own sinfulness.

The first is the easiest to see. I don’t want to take the blame for something I have done, so I point at someone else. Or, while acknowledging that I actually did the wrong, I present a laundry list of reasons why it wasn’t really my fault. Sometimes that comes out as, “If you hadn’t done [X, Y, or Z], I wouldn’t have done what I did.” In essence, I’m saying it’s your fault that I did wrong.

The second category seems to be the more difficult to notice due to the challenge of recognizing the sinfulness of our own hearts. In other words, we think too highly of ourselves. Jeremiah 17:9 addresses this: “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” Sometimes we simply don’t see it and at other times we attempt to deceive ourselves (and others). A sign of growing in Christ is an increasing recognition of our own sin and a willingness to take ownership of it.

The astute reader should have noted already that even though I may (intentionally or unintentionally) deceive myself about my sin, “the Lord weighs the spirit.” He knows. He knows. He knows the truth. “The eyes of the Lord are in every place keeping watch over the evil and the good” (Proverbs 15:3 ESV). Since that is the case, why do we not readily acknowledge our sinfulness, then repent? That’s a rhetorical question.

May God give each of us the grace to recognize our own hearts, readily acknowledge our sin, then repent without delay.


  1. Thanks for sharing your thinking on this. Keep at it.

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