The impact is felt immediately, like a spear piercing your heart.
You want to keep scrolling; or look away. Anything to sear your conscience.
But the words sit there in your stomach, unwilling to budge.
That’s how I felt when I read this verse today.
I realised I’ve been harbouring quite a lot of anger and judgmental thoughts towards some people – some I know well; some I know only a little.
And while this realisation – this conviction – is strong enough that I want to do something about it, I’m scared.
I’m afraid of coming to God with my shame – because, deep down, I don’t believe I’ll be able to kick this sin.
If only it was as simple as a one-off prayer of repentance…
Don’t the burdens we place on ourselves feel weighty sometimes?
And our faith in what God can do feels painfully small.
But I’m so thankful that change – deep, inner change – is not purely dependent on my faith or wishful thinking.
It’s dependent on a God who does effect change – and when we think about it, he’s answered our prayers time and time and time again.
When it comes to our hearts, God knows when we truly desire change – and he works hand in hand with us to give us our heart’s desire.
Which, when we think about it, is ultimately to become more like him – his son, Jesus.
So will God answer my prayer?
Will he give me more love for the people I find so hard to love?
I hope so. In fact, I know so.
Because I am not alone.
I have the Holy Spirit working in me to counsel, direct, and change the course of my heart and the trajectory of my life.
And ultimately, it’s not about me – but the glory of God.
So tonight I will come to him, weak-kneed and trembling.
I will bow before a Heavenly Father who can take my burden away and offer hope for a future that isn’t perfect – but will involve me becoming more and more like his son, Jesus Christ, as I entrust my heart to him.
And slowly – ever so slowly – I’ll see changes I never thought were possible as my loving God keeps smoothing out the rough edges until they are like new.
Lord, make me new.