Straight from the Heart: Our Actions Ultimately Show What’s In our Heart

Posted: December 28, 2014 in Uncategorized

Luke 6:43-49 — Back in the 80’s, there was a song by Bryan Adams called “Straight from the Heart”. In the song, he asks his former girlfriend if they have a chance to get back together. He asks her to tell him “straight from the heart.” He wanted the pure, honest truth. He wanted to know what was really going on in her heart. In verses, 43-45 of this passage, Jesus tells us that it is the heart (our inner soul) that matters. From it flows what we are. From it flows the real us.

Jesus says that a good tree can produce no bad fruit and a bad tree can produce no good fruit. If our heart is dark, no matter how we try to make our actions be of light, our darkness of the heart will shine through eventually. As Jesus says in v. 45, “a good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart” and he goes onto say, “What you say flows from what is in your heart.”

Have you ever tried to pretend to like someone who makes you so uncomfortable or like someone who makes your blood boil? You can smile and make small talk. Then, this person keeps saying things that rub you the wrong way. With each rude comment, you find it harder and harder to keep your mouth shut. Finally, you blow up and let them hold it. Yes, I have been there. I know how that feels. I am usually a pretty easy going guy and nothing really bothers me but there have been a couple of people in these 50+ years that just rub me the wrong way. I go into situations with these people expecting the worst and harboring resentment toward them for what I perceive as self-centered and unfeeling behavior toward others. Then, during conversations with these people, they just seem to go after issues that they know are going to get my motor running. My heart’s resentment festers and boils within me. You know that type of person. We all have one or have had one in our lives. Jesus is saying that what’s in our heart of hearts is hard to hide. It eventually comes out. It boils over. It shows itself.

There is no way for us to fake being a Christ follower for long. We can do all the right things. We can say all the right things. We can go to church every time the door is open. We can be a church events. We can serve. But if our following of Christ does not come from a changed heart, a heart of thanksgiving to Christ for our salvation, our true heart will show. In our leadership of community events at our church, I once had a person get mad at me because I did not put them in a visible position where they could be seen at an event. Never mind that they had never been to any planning meetings nor signed up for any area of service at the event, they just showed up and wanted to be put in a place of visibility. Sad, but true. Where is the heart? Our actions come straight from the heart. There are those who are unwilling to submit themselves to leadership and want to promote their own agenda. There are those who feign submission to your leadership to your face and then create kingdoms of their own within the kingdom. They create the us vs. them mentality among those that they lead. They create poison within the church by trying to create a church within the church. This poison shows itself in conflict with leadership at all levels. Their heart of hearts shows in their actions regardless of what the words say. These are the types that keep controversy stirred up within the church. Rather than spending our time serving the world, we end up have to deal with their controversies. We can fake being a Christ follower at times but our real heart shows in our actions.

Certainly, I am a flawed individual myself and I make no bones about it. There are times that I suffer from the same thing where I get jealous about people who seem to have the “it factor” when it comes to Christian service. I have to check myself. There are times that I scream out to the Lord that “you know that I am ready” why aren’t they using me. The Lord has to remind me often that I am where He wants me at this moment at this time at this place with these people. He has to remind me that He will make the path abundantly clear to me when the time has come. He has to remind me that this thing is on His timetable not mine. Like a kid who is defeated by the logic and authority of his parent, I hear the Lord and say, “oooookaaaaay”. Sometimes our heart is not in alignment with God’s will for our lives and it shows. We may try to cover it up but it comes out. That is when we have to check ourselves. We must realistically look at our actions. Are they promoting unity? Are they promoting love? Are they promoting the kingdom? Or am I serving myself? My agenda? My feelings? Me. Me. Me. or Jesus. Jesus. Jesus?

Straight from the heart. Give it to me straight from the heart. God show me where my heart is dark. Show me where my jealousies are. Show me where my self promoting agenda is. Show me where I need to submit to you. Show me where I need to submit those you have placed in leadership over me at this point in your preparation of my walk for what’s next. Show me where my hatred is. Show me where my pride is. Show me where my lusts are. Show me where my slander is. Show me where my idols are. Help me to identify the things in my heart that are not of you. Show me how to lay them at your feet. Show me. Show me. Show me, Lord. Make my heart pure and clean. Help me to operate out of humility for the things that you have done in my life. Help me to be humble, faithful, teachable. Help me to operate from a position of love. Help me to be like Jesus Christ straight from the heart. Amen.

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