My least favorite part of painting is the trim work. I used to tape everything prior to painting to keep the paint on the walls and off the molding, door casings and ceiling. Taping takes a long time, and despite this step of caution, I still manage to get paint all over the place.
One day I walked by a professional painter at work and stopped to watch him do some trim work. When I asked him how he managed to do such a masterful job without using any tape, he told me that the secret to perfect trim work is to focus on the tip of the brush. He said that the quality of the brush is not that important, the only thing that matters is what you focus on while you are painting. If you focus on the molding and how much paint you are getting on the brush you are going to get paint all over the place, but if you focus on guiding the tip of the brush along the edge of the molding you will never need tape.
I was amazed that my professional painter friend was able to condense the secret to perfect painting down to one simple principle. As I walked and pondered this simple truth it occurred to me that in some ways we make our walk with God more difficult than it needs to be. We sometimes spend a lot of time “taping” and prepping so that we don’t get our sin all over the place but we still seem to make a mess.
Proverbs 4:23 says that everything in our lives flows from our heart so we should guard it above else. Just like focusing on the tip of the brush, focusing on our heart is the secret to perfecting our walk with God. The Bible says that King David was a man after God’s own heart. David made a lot of messes over his lifetime but he knew that when he messed up that he need to focus on his heart again and cry out to God to cleanse his heart and give him a right spirit (Psalm 51:10) Jesus said that it takes a pure heart to see God (Matthew 5:8).
So how is your heart today? Are you spending more time taping than painting? Maybe we should spend less time worrying about being perfect and spend more time focusing on the condition of our heart and walking with God.