“Cleanse me from these hidden faults.” Ps 19:12 NLT
There are parts of yourself you’ll never see without God’s help. In one sense, you know yourself better than anyone else does. You alone have access to your inner thoughts, feelings, and judgments. In another sense, you know yourself worse than anyone else does. Why? Because we rationalize, justify, minimize, forget, and embellish—and we don’t even know we’re doing it. We all fall for the self-serving bias. We claim too much credit, and accept too little blame. We pay attention to experts who agree with our opinions, while ignoring or discounting all evidence to the contrary. Our memories are not simply faulty; they’re faulty in favor of our ego. The book Egonomics cites a survey in which 83 percent of people were confident in their ability to make good decisions, but only 27 percent were confident in the ability of the people they worked closely with to make good decisions. We’re stunned when someone sees past our defenses into our souls. It’s not that they’re geniuses, it’s just that we’re sitting in our own blind spot. And apart from the work of the Holy Spirit within us, much of the time we can’t even see our sin. The Psalmist wrote: “How can I know all the sins lurking in my heart? Cleanse me from these hidden faults. Keep your servant from deliberate sins! Don’t let them control me. Then I will be free of guilt and innocent of great sin. May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer” (vv. 12-14 NLT). That’s a prayer you should pray—every day.