My heart isn't REALLY desperately wicked!

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Puritan Board Professor
Today was my day off, but I had to come in for a 2 hour meeting this afternoon. It quickly became apparent that the meeting didn't have any real relevance to my job, so my mind wandered from time-to-time.

I started thinking about a verse that I had memorized years ago as a leader in the AWANA club:

Jer 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?

I had memorized the verse, accepted that fact that the heart is deceitful and wicked, but never really thought much more about it. I was thinking during the meeting that the main way my heart deceives me is by making me think that I'm not desperately wicked, that I'm really not that bad (definitely not as bad as some others). Sure I sin, everybody does, but desperately wicked? No, I'm a Christian, I'm a good guy.

Interesting how the verse ends - "Who can know it?" - I'm deceived into thinking my heart isn't desperately wicked, and I'm not even aware of it!

I don't know about you, but I hate being deceived, and its even worse when the deception comes from within. How can a person break through that deception to see his heart as God sees it?

As a Christian, I can relate to what Paul says:

Rom 7:21 I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.
Rom 7:22 For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:
Rom 7:23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.

I see the conflict, I'm aware of the war going on inside, but...

Rom 7:24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?

...that's just in the mind. Knowing about the war and seeing yourself as the "O wretched man" are two different things. How can a person overcome the deceiptfulness of their heart to see themselves as desperately wicked, as truly a wretched man?


Pray. That's the only way.

Beg the LORD to - a little bit at a time, lest we perish from despair! - show us the depths of our own depravity.


Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Good words, brother! I have asked myself that same question so many times. I don't think we will ever, at least in this life here on earth, completely understand the depths to which our wicked hearts can go. But as we keep in the Word and focus our hearts and minds on Jesus, looking to Him as our example, we begin to see the real truth of what we are. I believe that is what transformss.
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