Tim Clinton, Ed.D.
“… Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me …”
Psalm 51:10 NKJ
“The marble not yet carved can hold the form of every thought the greatest artist has.”
“Lord Jesus, create a clean heart and renew a right spirit within me.” When you pray that from the heart, then you’re getting down to real business and are on the path to authentic healing. Becoming the man God wants us to be involves so much more than going to church three times a week or serving on all of the ministry committees. It’s more than going through the religious motions. It’s about God taking our old hearts, cleaning them, and recreating them. It’s about you and God connecting on a deeper level. Galatians 5:25 (KJV) says “if we live in the spirit let us also walk in the spirit”. When you walk in step with Spirit through His Word and obeying His lead, Christ’s character is being formed in you. That’s what creates real lasting change. Paul’s earnest goal for his believers wasn’t that they get involved in more religious activity, but that Christ was formed in them. “My little children, for whom I labor in birth again until Christ is formed in you” (Galatians 4:19). When we ask God to create a clean heart in us, in reality, we are asking Him to make us more like Jesus.
When asked how he drew made his famous sculpture of David, Michelangelo said, “It is easy. You just chip away the stone that doesn’t look like David”. That’s what the Holy Spirit does to us. As we draw into an intimate relationship with God, the Holy Spirit begins the process of chipping away the things that don’t look like Jesus and then shaping us into His image. Authentic change and healing are the result. Anything else amounts to religious self-help.
When we start becoming more like Jesus, another wonderful thing happens. People begin to notice something different in us. We’re not trying to be different we just are as a result of being in His presence. Roy Hicks Jr. wrote, “Imagine a man who has been so conformed to Jesus’ image that just by knowing him the people he comes in contact with every day—his wife, his children, men and women at work—discover God and their own individual potential.”
Become the man God has called you to be. Let him chip away at those things that are not like Jesus so his image will be formed in you.
 Roy Hicks Jr. A Small Book About God (Sisters, OR: Multnoma, 1997), 42.
Tim Clinton, Ed.D., LPC, LMFT (The College of William and Mary) is President of the nearly 50,000-member American Association of Christian Counselors (AACC), the largest and most diverse Christian counseling association in the world. He is Professor of Counseling and Pastoral Care, and Executive Director of the Center for Counseling and Family Studies at Liberty University. Licensed in Virginia as both a Professional Counselor and Marriage and Family Therapist, Tim now spends a majority of his time working with Christian leaders and professional athletes. He is recognized as a world leader in faith and mental health issues and has authored over 20 books including Breakthrough: When to Give In, When to Push Back. Most importantly, Tim has been married 36 years to his wife Julie and together they have two children, Megan, who is married to Ben Allison and is practicing medicine in dermatology, and Zach, who plays baseball at Liberty University. In his free time, you’ll find him outdoors or at a game with family and friends.