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  • Eric Kampmann

A Periodic Heart Exam

Test me, O Lord, and try me, examine my heart and

my mind; for your love is ever before me, and I walk

continually in your truth. I do not sit with deceitful men,

nor do I consort with hypocrites; I abhor the assembly

of evildoers and refuse to sit with the wicked.

—Psalm 26:2–5

Because the “heart is deceitful above all things” (Jeremiah 17:9), it is important to undergo a thorough and frequent heart checkup. But this is hard and often inconvenient, so we spend valuable time finding excuses for avoiding what might be unpleasant news. If we refuse to undergo a daily “heart exam,” we might consider wearing a sign around our neck similar to the one found on the side of cigarette packs: “Caution: This heart may kill you!”

Left untreated by God, the human heart is the center of great turmoil and conflict. Our affections shift like an altimeter in a storm; one moment we yearn to follow the right way, then the next we turn our back on the Lord just as Peter did three times immediately after claiming eternal allegiance to Him. The battle we face every day is over the constancy of our wavering heart.

In the end, the question for each of us is about one thing: whom do I love with all my heart? We can deceive ourselves into believing that we have been exempted from this conflict, but when we do, we are submitting to loves and desires that have nothing to do with the need to place God above all other desires of the heart.

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