It is impossible to behave in a manner inconsistent with what you believe. —Dr. Neil T. Anderson
“I can’t believe I did that! I don’t know where that came from—I don’t believe things like that at all.” We might catch ourselves behaving in a manner that is far from what we think we believe. Instead of rationalizing an action, it indicates we actually believe—only then are we able to come against the lie and painfully face the truth. As long as the thoughts and actions are merely written off as something external (Satan’s attacks) or some overwhelming darkness, we are held bondage to our own deeply held unconscious beliefs.
In 2006, Ted Haggard was the most influential evangelical in the nation: president of the National Association of Evangelicals, pastor of a Colorado mega church, writer, and speaker. Yet Pastor Ted Haggard struggled with the internal turmoil of homosexuality. His actions revealed his true belief system. In his letter of dismissal to his church, Pastor Ted Haggard wrote:
When I stopped communicating about my problems, the darkness increased and finally dominated me. As a result, I did things that were contrary to everything I believe.
Pastor Ted made two major mistakes: First, he suspended honesty that allows confession, humility, and accountability. Second, he wouldn’t admit his actions revealed his heart.
We see how to come to God humbly through Psalm 51; King David wanted to know these hidden beliefs of the heart and asked God to reveal them to him. He asked God to address the reality of his heart in verse 10: “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.”
Father, thank you for the prayer of King David. I ask the same thing for myself, Lord, that you would draw me close to you, with honesty, integrity, and purity, Lord, make my heart like yours. Renew me, guide me. Help my spirit to be made new every day through our time together. In Jesus’ name, amen.