Monday, December 2, 2013

Your Heart Condition

What is the source of your most troublesome times?  Could it be that mother-in-law that really never liked you?  Maybe it's the boss who has a bad concept of the right way to do business.  Are there some teachers and professors which make life difficult because you do not share their views?  Do some thinking about it, especially remembering to be honest with yourself, and consider the source of all the negatives you encounter. 

The way most of us answer the questions above is to respond with blame.  That's right, we blame other people, we blame our situations, we blame those who disagree with us, and sometimes, we even blame God. 

I want to point you to an answer which Jesus gives to the dilemma.  You may not agree with it.  In fact, you may not like it.  Jesus says the source of our troubles is.........ourselves!   He says in Matthew 15:19-20, "19 For out of the heart (that's your heart and mine) come evil thoughts—murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. 20 These are what defile a person."

Ouch!  The idea of those sins and the troublesome guilt they carry with them, originate from within us. The scripture convicts us of being the source of everything from evil thoughts to slander and even murder.  Talk about heart trouble!

The Bible has more to say in this matter.  Look at Matthew 12:34, and this is Jesus talking, "You brood of vipers! How can you speak good when you are evil?"  And from the Old Testament book of Jeremiah, "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?"

For a lot of us that have considered ourselves "one of the good guys," these biblical passages give a different picture.  That picture is a hard truth for us to grasp if we begin spouting off a list of all the good things we have done.  After all, I attend church, I pray, I give donations, I am not like the drug dealer, not like the murderer, not even like dirty homeless people.   STOP LIGHT!!  Now we are sounding like the Pharisees, who were really good at letting everyone know they were better than anyone else. 

So how do we handle all these bad things that originate within us?  The scripture gives us the example of one who was really seeking a remedy for the sinful nature within himself.  It's David, the sinner who could certainly blame others, but realized the real problem was himself.  In Psalm 141 David offered these words in a pleading prayer to God.  See if this prayer can help you, too. 

Set a guard over my mouth, Lord;
    keep watch over the door of my lips.
Do not let my heart be drawn to what is evil
    so that I take part in wicked deeds
along with those who are evildoers;
    do not let me eat their delicacies.


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