Monday, August 29, 2011

Intentional or Haphazard?

While I was at work today, I found myself thinking about this verse from Proverbs (27:19): "As water reflects a face, so a man's heart reflects the man."
Now, we don't have to look very far to see that beauty is something that is coveted in our culture. Beautiful people are everywhere- on TV, in movies, on the internet, in magazines and newspapers. It seems like all the world cares about is what lies on the outside. But this verse reminded me that God calls us to be so much more.
If I take this verse for what it is, "so a man's heart reflects the man," I think this speaks directly to character, and it stands in direct contrast to what we find in our culture today. Think of this like a math proof:
If my words and actions stem from what is in my heart, and my heart reflects who I am, then what I say and do speak to the kind of person I am. And if that is the case, then I should very much be concerned with what is in my heart. This forces me to ask uncomfortable questions about myself: Who am I? What is in my heart? What kind of a person am I, based upon my words and deeds?
This is exactly where love and service come into play.
See, if we claim to be Christians, then love and service should be what stems from our hearts. Through our relationship with Christ, our hearts are filled with those things, so that we, in turn, can go out and love and serve others.
It's not about being the "hellfire and brimstone" style evangelist. Where in the Bible are we called to preach at others and make them feel bad about themselves?
No. Instead, we are called to "Love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength," and to "love our neighbor as ourselves," (Matthew 22:37-39).
What is in our heart reflects who we are, and who we are should be directly related to our relationship with God.
And it's not even about us. See, far too often, we make the Christian life about me. But it's really about others. It is about loving and serving others, just because we have a desire to love someone who is potentially a complete stranger.
Want to talk about changing the world, or making the world a better place? Start there.
"Don't ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive." - Howard Thurman.

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