The Condition of Your Heart
“Now the end of the commandment is charity [love]out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned…(1 Timothy 1:5)
When a beloved friend of mine shared how she had managed to keep her mouth shut in response to someone who had been hurting her over and again, I quickly pointed out to her that keeping her mouth shut when someone hurts her is simply not enough; she needed not only to love and forgive the person, but she needed to bring her heart before the Lord and make sure it was not filled with sin. Real love and forgiveness, after all, are from the heart (Mt. 18:35). For sin is not just confined to our words and actions; sin is rooted in our hearts. Within a day or so, the wisdom and counsel I had so easily offered my friend came right back at me. When I held the mirror to my face – and heart – I did not like my reflection.
I had been hurt by another’s words and actions, and had convinced myself that all was well because I had managed to restrain myself from lashing out in my words and actions. My heart, however, was a different story. I was holding onto the hurt, looking down at and judging the person, and I wanted to flee instead of to allow God to use me in that person’s life to shine His light. Sure, my words were loving. My actions were kind. I wanted to do what was right, but the truth was that I was cleaving to the hurt and hanging onto the situation instead of repenting of the sin in my heart and turning the situation over to God. The peace and freedom on the other side of my repentance was astounding, but this was not all.
When my heart had been clogged with sin, God’s love could not pour easily through me. When I repented and He forgave me, His love was like a waterfall so powerful that I found myself filled with sweet mercy for the person who had hurt me, deep grief for what that person might have been suffering that caused such actions toward me, and a blessed desire to be used by God to demonstrate His amazing love to that person and others.
A clogged human heart leads to heart disease, heart attack, and even possible fatality. A heart clogged with sin keeps us sick and unable to be a pure vessel through which the Lord’s love may pour into a world in desperate need of Him. Bring your heart before the Lord and repent. Be pure for Him!