Psalm 51:6-7

God wants us to be honest—with ourselves, with each other, and with our Creator. You desire truth in the inward being, the psalmist sings (v. 6). But discovering our true self that was made in God’s image, that rests in the deepest part of our being, isn’t an easy or instant act. It involves peeling away the layers of pretense, masks, and camouflage we’ve used to cover it up. So often we try to prevent our real self from emerging.

God desires us to be true, but we need God’s help to live this way. When we grow skilled in hypocrisy, God plants the craving for integrity in us. As we pretend to be someone we are not, God prompts our longing for the better way of authenticity. You want me to live a genuine life, the psalmist writes, therefore teach me wisdom in my secret heart (v. 6). The poet knows this will involve divine work and uses the words purge and wash to describe it (v. 7). 

While I’ve never been purged with the psalmist’s hyssop, I’m open to it. I remember the clean feeling that comes after having a difficult conversation with a person I love. Relief replaces weighty dread when we finally tell our loved one what is on our heart. Like the pine-scented air we breathe after climbing a mountain, joy finally comes. 

God desires those clean-heart experiences for us. Ask for that cleansing now.


Why do you need God to bathe you right now?


God, we are a mess. But we want to be clean again. Teach us, wash us, and draw us near. Amen.

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