Friday, July 26, 2019

We Respond To Life With The Nature That Rules Our Hearts

“Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” —Matthew 12:34

How do you approach life?  I mean .. as you live from one event to another .. from one breath to another breath … what is it that determines how you respond to the events in your life?  What you think .. what you do .. what you say.  As Christians we have a choice, actually.  Because this new life we live, we live in the flesh by faith (Galatians 2:20), we can choose to respond in the natural or in the supernatural.  We can respond as the world does, or we can respond like Jesus did.  How you respond is determined by the true disposition of your heart.  If you see your new life as merely an attribute, like being a citizen of the United States or having red hair, then you are in trouble spiritually.  You can hope to respond to life differently, but it is not going to happen.  Often times, we confuse spiritual response with natural constraint.  Let me explain by example.

Mary is talking to you when she says something that is very offensive. How do you respond?  Naturally, you are thinking an unkind thought, but you restrain yourself so as not to give how you really feel away.  Spiritually, you are not affected by the words, but see Mary’s heart, the source of what comes out of her mouth, and pray for her.  You hold no grudge against her, but have forgiven her for the offense.  You show compassion for Mary.  Like Jesus did for those who crucified Him.  The offense will not be logged away in your heart to be pulled up at some time in the future. 

Let’s say your children are like whirlwinds in your house.  They won’t listen so you yell at them.  You just can’t take it anymore.  You can’t help yourself.  You are right … your old nature is stronger than your will to not yell at your children … but your old nature is not stronger than your new nature, whose source is the Creator God.  You will respond to life from the nature that rules your heart.  Not the one that you want to rule, but the one that sits on the throne.  Living supernaturally does not just happen, it is a deliberate process, yielding your life to God each day, living by faith, meditating on the Word (when was the last time you read the Bible on your own?)  You are a child of God, don’t be satisfied with anything less.

People are good at hiding their true feelings – most of the time.  Something I have noticed is that when a significant life event occurs, such as a death in the family, feelings that are normally hidden are suddenly exposed.  People act in ways, say things, that they typically would not do or say. Those things that they kept hidden in their hearts are exposed. Why? I think that the emotional pressure brought on by a death, for example, takes away self-restraint, and the true nature of people’s hearts are revealed. 

Conversely, when my mom passed a number of years ago – friends from another state showed up at the visitation.  We had no idea they were coming. They came because they cared about Martie and me and showed the compassion of Jesus. The true nature of their hearts were revealed, in a good way.  I have never forgotten that act of kindness and compassion.

No comments: