“The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks.” Luke 6:45
When I was younger, my mother would always say, “If you listen long enough, a person will tell you everything you need to know about them.” Her sentiments echo the words spoken by Jesus as He taught the large crowds during the Sermon on the Mount. A person’s deception cannot last too long before his or her true feelings, beliefs and motivations become apparent in their speech and actions. What is in one’s heart shows itself in one’s behavior. As Jesus says, “For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks.” What is overflowing from your heart today?
May the Lord be with you.
“Jesus replied, ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. ‘ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” Matthew 22: 37 – 39
Each Christmas, I pass out Christmas cards and candy to my co-workers. It is my way of showing my appreciation for their camaraderie and to bring a smile to their faces. A few years back at a previous employer, the last thing I wanted to do was pass out cards and candy. There had been a falling out and I was no longer a part of one team in the department. I had been moved to a different team with a different job responsibility. My former team had a get-together and made a point of letting my new team and me know that we were not invited or welcomed to attend. It hurt; I had been a part of that team since I started with the company three years prior and had considered my former teammates friends. My new team held it’s own get-together a couple of weeks later. We did not make it private and invited everyone to come enjoy the treats we assembled on a table in the back area. The teammates declined the invitation.
So, when the holiday season approached and I was purchasing the cards and candy, I had no intention of including anyone on my former team. Why should I? They had moved on and so should I. But there was something deep inside that prevented me from evening the score. I purchased cards for each of them and bought German chocolates and candy canes. I placed cards and candy on each co-worker’s desk. My new teammates thanked me; one person from my old team sent a thank you email. As I passed by their desks later that day, I saw some of my former teammates had thrown their cards into the trash. I remember feeling like a fool to have even bothered.
At the end of the workday, I stayed behind to finish a project while everyone else filed out. A member of my old team stopped by my desk. He confided that he was going through an acrimonious divorce. His wife had moved out with their children. He hadn’t seen them in weeks. He said my card was the only kindness he had been shown in a long time and would probably be the only present he would receive this Christmas. He thanked me for thinking of him.
It was at that moment I realized I wasn’t foolish for extending myself to my former teammates. The one who needed it was reached. Don’t ignore what the Lord places on your heart. It may seem foolish in a worldly sense, but spiritually you may be planting seeds of faith, encouragement and love. Your intention may be for many, but God may only need to reach one. Allow Him to use you to accomplish His will.
May the Lord be with you today.
“Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity.” Joel 2:13
In Joel’s time, deep remorse was demonstrated by tearing or rending one’s clothes. It was an outward display of atonement that no doubt impressed men. God, however, it not as concerned with our outward displays of penitence as He is with our inward repentance. God is a Searcher of hearts. Meditate on your attitude towards God. Are your actions prompted by your sincere love for Him? Or, are you prompted by the praise of men? This is one instance where there is no fine line or middle ground. One either strives to please God in his or her attitude and actions or plans his or her steps based upon the righteousness of men.
Where do you stand?
May the Lord be with you today.