From the Heart

We may noticed the negative and bad that is around us, but are we so observant that we also see that from our hearts can come things/thoughts that are more of a mess?

And He said, "What comes out of a man, that defiles a man.  For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murder, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness.  All these evil things come from within and defile a man."  Mark 4:20-23

That is a lot of bad things, things that the people around us may not know is going on in our hearts because they can’t see or hear it. Things that may be going on in their own hearts. Most people want to be good, and try to control the thoughts that they have, but no one is that strong. The heart is what is the center of us and our tongues are the strongest muscle in our bodies. We have the ability to tear down or build up simply by what we allow to rule our hearts and what we allow our words to say.

As I was doing a devotion the other day, the author talked about how mediaeval monasteries would try and keep all of the “bad” of the world out by building up walls and living in “peace” within those walls. The problem was the monks were still humans, and sin doesn’t just stop at a wall. If we could just tell the “bad” to stop at our front doors we wouldn’t have families that fall apart, children who feel alone and people who feel as though they have nothing to give. If we could just tell all the evil things to just stop we wouldn’t need Jesus.

When I was in charge of the Jr./High school youth group we did a study once about words and actions. We talked about how we could bring joy to someone’s day by saying hello and smiling at them. We talked about how important it was to acknowledge a person by looking them in the eye and knowing their name. On the flip side we discussed how when someone is torn down or gossiped about it’s like crinkling up a piece of paper and telling someone to make it flat again. It’s just not possible. One activity we did that dealt with spreading kindness had to do with glitter. Yes, I know glitter should never have been invented but since it was I used it to my advantage. I had the students hold out their hands so that I could place some glitter onto their palms. Their one job was to remove the glitter from their hands completely without spreading it to other people or the furniture/floor. The person who could successfully do this would win a prize. Needless to say, I got to eat the candy at the end of the exercise since no one could do it. The point was, like glitter, kindness can stick to someone just was much as cruelty, so why not spread kindess instead.

We as humans have to constantly work at what we allow into our hearts. What we listen to, how we treat people, what we allow ourselves to think about all contribute to the health of our hearts. We can’t just separate ourselves from sin and bad, so while we are in the middle of life why not find ways to change what influences us. Until next time:

When no one is watching ,live as if someone is. Succeed at home first. Pray twice as much as you fret. Listen twice as much as you speak. God has forgiven you; you’d be wise to do the same. Never let the important be the victim of the trivial.

Max Lucado

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