Photo: Again We Say Rejoice Photography
Author: Sarah DeLotelle
“What’s in your heart matters because what’s in your heart manifests itself in your attitudes, actions, and words. Sooner or later our hearts show themselves and what’s on the inside reveals itself on the outside. Eventually your heart is gonna Chuck Norris your behavior; it’s going to overpower it! That’s why Jesus was always about heart transformation, not behavior modification. Solomon says in Proverbs 4:23 – “Above all else, guard your heart, because everything you do flows from it.”
Two years ago I had a secret: I was pregnant with my son Levi. For a while I could keep what was inside of me hidden. I camouflaged my growing bump with flowy shirts and loose clothing, but eventually I couldn’t keep the secret anymore. What was on the inside was manifesting itself on the outside. Soon everyone was touching my belly and telling me their labor horror stories! It’s the same with your heart! What’s on the inside will ultimatly manifest itself on the outside. In the end your heart is gonna overpower your behavior…so what’s in your heart?
Eventually things like bitterness, anger, and unforgiveness will start to influence your attitudes, actions, and words. They will shape your worldview and affect current and future relationships. What’s in our hearts rarely affects “just us.” For example, unforgiveness towards past relationships may result in harshness and isolation in current relationships. Are the people of your present paying a penalty for the people of your past? Likewise, forgiveness for past relationships paves the way for intimacy in current relationships.
What you believe in your heart about God will also manifest itself in your attitudes, actions, and words. If you believe that God is judgmental, you may hide from him or walk in a judgmental spirit towards others. If you believe that God Is generous, then gratitude and generosity will be an evident fruit in your life. If you believe that God is continually disappointed in you, then your walk will be filled with striving or bitter apathy (or some combination of the two).
There’s an iconic “I Love Lucy” scene where Lucy and Ethel are trying to wrap chocolates on a conveyor belt. They’re giving it their all, but they can’t keep up with all the chocolates being produced. They start trying to hide the chocolates in their shirts, hats, and mouths, but this method can only sustain them for so long. They failed to understand that they needed to cut off the production of the chocolates instead of frantically trying to cover up the excess of chocolates. Likewise, instead of trying to manage our behavior, maybe it’s time to manage our hearts.
For better or for worse, our hearts manifest themselves in our attitudes, actions, and words. Sit with the Holy Spirit today and ask him to reveal what’s in your heart. I’m sure many things will be good, but other things may be holding you back! Your heart might need to change towards a person, group, yourself, or even God. My prayer for us is that through the process of sanctification our hearts will continually look more and more like the heart of our God.”