Jeremiah 17:9-10 (NLT)
9 �The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is? 10 But I, the Lord, search all hearts and examine secret motives. I give all people their due rewards, according to what their actions deserve.�
Our own hearts deceive us. We often think we trust in God and are entitled to his blessings; but God examines the motives of the hearts and rewards accordingly.
In April, 2011, Newsweek magazine featured an article about Arnold Schwarzenegger, movie star and former governor of California. Here are some of the most telling excerpts from the article:
Life at 63, for Arnold Schwarzenegger, is a titanic clash between human frailty and dazzling possibility. "I feel terrific about where I am in my life, when I look back at what I've accomplished," [he said], "but I feel [horrible] when I look at myself in the mirror."
It's a jolt to hear Schwarzenegger�a five-time Mr. Universe and seven-time Mr. Olympia before he was Conan the Barbarian, the Terminator, and ultimately Governor�musing about his own decay �. Still strapping in shirtsleeves, a fine specimen of aging movie star, he has lost an inch and a half from his previous 6-foot-2 height, the 31-inch waist has ballooned to 36, and the vaunted 57-inch chest has shrunk by a half foot.
"I'm not competing, I'm not ripping off my shirt and trying to sell the body," he tells me. "But when I stand in front of a mirror and really look, I wonder: What the [heck] happened here? What a beating!"
Thirteen years ago, when he was 50, Schwarzenegger had surgery to replace a defective aortic valve �. At some point in the next several years the valve will wear out, and surgeons will split his chest open to install a new one. "It does quite a number on you for quite some time," [he] tells me, "because even though you're strong willed, you know from now on you're damaged goods." He adds with a chuckle: "As with most things, I live in denial."
Three weeks after the publication of this interview, Schwarzenegger admitted that his 25-year marriage was breaking up due to his extra-marital affair. [Lloyd Grove, "Arnold's Wild Road Trip," Newsweek (4-25-11)]
King Solomon said in Ecclesiastes 11:9-10 �Young people, it�s wonderful to be young! Enjoy every minute of it. Do everything you want to do; take it all in. But remember that you must give an account to God for everything you do. So refuse to worry, and keep your body healthy. But remember that youth, with a whole life before you, is meaningless.�
Towards the end of life we realize many of things we have done are meaningless unless we have done them for God. The thoughts of our heart fool us and we lead ourselves astray. We go the ways that please us and then realize the damage we have done. Let us allow God to examine our hearts and listen when God speaks.