Posted by: JennyRain | July 16, 2009

Speaking from our Heart

People speak the things that are in their hearts (Lk 6:45 NCV)

What is in your heart today?

 

As followers of Christ we are promised that our outward behavior does not determine our identity, but rather our identity in Christ determines our eventual behavior. Thank God! This is a very reassuring reality for me because I often struggle with the “behavioral aspect” of my faith walk.

I have learned however, that my behavior and my words provide a pretty realistic indicator of how healthy I am in Christ, and perhaps how submitted I am to God in some areas.

There are times when I struggle with the words of my mouth.

This week, on a day when I was particularly tired, I was sassy with my husband to which he responded, “Grumpy-Monkee!” and made a face at me. Immediately upon hearing John’s loving confrontation, I realized I was snapping at him and began the process of internal self-correction so that he did not become the object of my impatience again.

I do this because I love John. I also do this because I love God, I know that I am in Christ, and with that new Identity I bear responsibility for how I behave in public and in private. I have learned that it is no longer my name alone that I carry with me, it is also the name of my Beloved, Jesus Christ. Now that I am married, my behavior also reflects on John and though I know (and John can attest to as well) that I am not anywhere near perfect, God honors as “perfect” my attempts to display self-control as a fruit of His spirit working through me. 

Psalms 51:10 Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me.

Often I find my prayers circulating back to this scripture. I do this because I know that I have historically been an expert at verbally-fire-bombing friends and then realizing my mouth has gotten ahead of my brain.

Daily I have to leave my attitude with my Father in heaven so that my words and actions do not intentionally or unintentionally hurt those around me. It has been a life-long healing process and though I am much better than I used to be, cut me off in traffic and my mouth starts running faster than the speed limit!

I value my friends because they risk holding a mirror up to my behavior.

 

The friends who have made the most impact in my life are those who are willing to give me the hand and say “Stop” when I am behaving in a way not befitting to a follower of Christ. People who have risked stepping into a situation with me to say, “You know, I hear from your words that you are angry, but I still love you anyway. Is there a better way of communicating so we do not continue to hurt each other?”

It is these friends that demonstrated that real love, Christ’s love living through us, is for keeps. That just because I may say something careless does not mean the relationship will disintigrate too. They have showed me that if I value the relationship, I will also honor and value them by watching the words of my mouth.

They have challenged me to realize that I carry Christ with me wherever I go and people are watching how I behave – because they cannot readily see Christ-in-me through any other means than my words and actions.

It is these friends who have given me the courage to face where my heart was bruised from difficult life-events and much in need of healing and find the road to health.

I have made the choice to find this healing and pursue it.

Healing did not find me, I had to seek it out and be committed to working the program of change. With God’s help, I have learned that living the Christian life is not just about getting my way in life, it is about giving away my life. Especially when it is inconvenient. Especially when it is painful as it is often in those times when I want to be sassafras Sue, when I want to spout off rather than submit to God that I am growing the most.

What are your words saying about your relationship with Christ and your investment in the lives of others around you?

 

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