Jeremiah 17:9-10: “The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is? But I, the Lord, search all hearts and examine secret motives. I give all people their due rewards, according to what their actions deserve.”

In the aftermath of the big flood, the sole survivors of the human race – Noah and his family – came out of the boat to build an altar to the Lord and to sacrifice burnt offerings on it. In response, the Lord made quite a sobering statement (Genesis 8:21):

“The Lord smelled the pleasing aroma and said in his heart: “Never again will I curse the ground because of humans, even though every inclination of the human heart is evil from childhood. And never again will I destroy all living creatures, as I have done.”

There are two camps judging the situation of the human heart: one is the self-loathing “I’m-no-good” camp, the other is the oblivious “it’s-not-my-fault” camp. At first glance, God’s judgment of the human race seems to support the “I’m-no-good” camp; but if we dig a little deeper we will discover that God passes judgment not to condemn us but to redeem us. His intentions are good because God is good. God does not want to throw us into the garbage bin, He wants to save us by removing the one thing that would ultimately destroy us (Psalm 103:12):

“As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.”

Ever noticed that we don’t have a west or east pole? There is a measurable walking distance of 12,429 miles between the north and the south pole while the distance between east and west remains undefined or immeasurable.  And that’s how far God has removed our sin – immeasurably far – to cleanse and restore us into mint condition, into the way we used to be before we left the Garden of Eden. While God is aware of our hearts’ condition, He still loves us. We are dear to Him. This truth needs to sink into the most remote recesses of our brain before we take a look at ourselves and start condemning.

Looking into the treacherous mirror of self-assessment, we will find that our evaluations are mostly tainted and manipulated by our ego or other people. We are blessed if we accept God’s assessment of us, because He wants to lift us up; God’s evaluation of you and me is the good news everybody needs to hear, news so powerful that it has the potential to heal a broken world. God has sent His Son Jesus into the world to restore us.

Discovering Jesus is similar to getting connected to God’s heartbeat. If our hearts belong to Him He is able to turn our lives around; He wants to grow us similar to a Gardener tending to soil. From God’s perspective the human race has great potential;  but He respects us enough to let us make our own choices. The decision is ours to make whether or not we want to entrust our hearts into God’s capable hands; under His care our hearts will profoundly change and flourish – into hearts of gold!

“I’ve been a miner for a heart of gold, and I’m getting old.” Neil Young

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