June 28, 2023 • Life for Leaders
Scripture — Psalm 139:23-24 (NRSV)
Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my thoughts.
See if there is any wicked way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.
As we work, we are motivated in different ways by many different things, some good, some neutral, some bad. Thus, we ask God to search our hearts and to reveal to us that which needs to be uprooted and cast away. We yearn for God to lead us so that all we do might glorify the Lord.
When it comes to our work, most of us have mixed motives. We want to do good work for our own sense of accomplishment. We are eager to please our boss. We seek to be well paid. We don’t want to get fired. We want our company to flourish. Sometimes, however, what motivates us at work is not honorable. Selfishness and even vengeance can be present in our hearts. Thus, like the writer of Psalm 139, we ask God to search us and test us, so that anything evil might be eliminated by God’s grace and power.
Gracious God, you have searched me and known me. You know everything about me. Nothing is hidden from you. I could never hide from your Spirit.
Your knowledge of me is both wonderful and scary. I’m so glad that you know me through and through because you formed me. Yet I’m frightened to think that you know all the parts of me I try to hide. You see my sin, my selfishness, my pride. You know my hidden motivations, the things that I’d never say out loud or share with another person.
I confess, Lord, that my motivations in my work are mixed. Yes, I want to do good work that honors my organization and serves our constituents well. Yes, I want to work in a way that reflects and glorifies you. But I have other motives, Lord, one I am scarcely able to articulate. Sin makes me selfish, unkind, or vengeful. I can be so focused on myself that I neglect others . . . or even you.
So, dear Lord, I ask you to search me and know my heart. Test me and know my thoughts. And if there is anything wicked in me, I pray that you would help it to be uprooted and cast away. Show me, Lord, what is true about me, so that I might be open to your saving, cleansing, and redeeming work. In my work, help me to be more like Jesus.
Then, O God, lead me in the way everlasting, in your way of justice, righteousness, and peace. Amen.
Ponder Throughout the Day
God, who knows everything about you, is at work in you, making you more and more like Jesus.
For Further Reflection
Read all of Psalm 139.
You may also wish to read Hebrew 4:14-16.
Banner image by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash.
Find all Life for Leaders devotions here. Explore what the Bible has to say about work at the High Calling archive, hosted by the unique website of our partners, the Theology of Work Project. Reflection on today’s Life for Leaders theme can be found here: Search Me, O God.
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Dr. Mark D. Roberts is a Senior Strategist for Fuller’s Max De Pree Center for Leadership, where he focuses on the spiritual development and thriving of leaders. He is the principal writer of the daily devotional, Life for Leaders, and the founder of the De Pree Center’s Flourishing in the Third Third of Life Initiative. Previously, Mark was the Executive Director of the De Pree Center, the lead pastor of a church in Southern California, and the Senior Director of Laity Lodge in Texas. He has written eight books, dozens of articles, and over 2,500 devotions that help people discover the difference God makes in their daily life and leadership. With a Ph.D. in New Testament from Harvard, Mark teaches at Fuller Seminary, most recently in his D.Min. cohort on “Faith, Work, Economics, and Vocation.” Mark is married to Linda, a marriage and family counselor, spiritual director, and executive coach. Their two grown children are educators on the high school and college level.