I foolishly, and of course pridefully, figured that my right action earned me a big gold star. Not to mention an A-plus. When the Bible says love does not “puff itself (1 Corinthians 13:4)” up, clearly the Bible wasn’t taking me into account. For I wasn’t just puffing myself up back in those days. One little poke of a needle, and I could burst right open. With everything but love. Being puffed up was an understatement.
Now for anyone who has ever tasted my cooking, one would realize quickly enough that the recipient of that dinner I made all that time ago would not have thought too much of my “loving” action. After all, I don’t cook. I boil oatmeal, I cook for the dogs once in a while, and I have been known to use the microwave on occasion. Suffice it to say my “loving” action wasn’t altogether too tasty. To say the least.
But truly, had my heart been filled with love, my cooking might have earned a smile from its recipient. Not even a chance. For my heart was not only filled with pride. It was filled with anger, bitterness, hurt, rejection, resentment, and, yes, vengeance. What a tasty combination, huh? Bad cooking and a heart boiling over with sin. Topped off by pride pie for dessert.
I have long since sought forgiveness for my sin back then, both from the Lord and from the recipient of my infamous cooking and equally infamous messed up heart. But the memory remains with me, for which I am grateful. For it is my reminder that right actions don’t make up for a wrong heart. Trying to look good, or to do good, on the outside doesn’t make up for a heart full of wickedness. And pride always fails, as I am reminded daily in my desperate desire to live a life of love and humility.
Today, I am not only vigilant in trying to take the the right actions. I am vigilant in continuously bringing my heart before the Lord and repenting of all the wrong junk I accumulate each and every day. For I want nothing more in loving and serving the Lord, and loving my neighbor as myself, than to have a pure heart for Him to pour Himself through to a lost and broken world. Right actions and the right heart.
Even if I still can’t cook.