July 26, 2021
“For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander.”
“I need to follow my heart.”
How many times have we heard that or something similar proclaimed in our culture these days? Or how many times have we said it ourselves? Some days it seems like a theme of our times!
Now, to be fair, we ought to be extra gracious and walk with care when approaching this topic. It is good for people to be open about how they feel, how they want life to go and what desires they struggle with. We need that honesty and authenticity in our relationships and communications. And we do find God has created us with at least some good inclinations – we do not live in an apocalyptic spiritual wasteland where nothing good ever happens anywhere.
But at the same time, we cannot let the heart off the hook. The fact is, the human heart is a spiritual mess. Jesus’ minces no words about that in our passage today. I usually describe our hearts with words like “broken” or “selfish intent,” but Jesus calls our hearts sources of “theft,” “murder” and “adultery”! (Gulp!)
I’m not suggesting we totally ignore our hearts. Really, how could we anyway? What I am saying is that we never forget the heart’s profoundly deep inclination toward evil. Our hearts are immensely convincing in our internal conversations, particularly when it comes to our current desires. If we don’t walk out our lives with a daily knowledge of our own brokenness and desperate need for God, we are going to find ourselves in trouble in one way or another. Apart from God’s guidance and His ways, our hearts will lead us astray. That’s just a fact.
How about we take some time today to thank God for the wisdom, direction and protection He offers us through His Word and through the Holy Spirit? And then, may He also open our eyes to each of our own hearts’ intentions, both the good and the evil we too often blind to!