Ive recently realised that the softness of my heart… determines my understanding… and that determines my behaviour. Pls let me explain.
When I was doing VERY wrong things… which shall remain nameless… but you know what I mean… I didnt think they were wrong. Its as simple as that.
My capacity for understanding how my actions impacted other people was limited… my heart was harder than it is now… so I didnt see any problem. Therefore I did the things I shouldnt have.
Then God healed me. And suddenly I was increasingly sensitized to the impact of my choices and I felt for the other people involved… my heart was softer… and I realised why it was wrong.
Now, later, I look back and those choices seem foreign to me, as if someone else did them, not me, because I could not imagine making thst choice.
And that is also true of things I was doing just a few months ago. “Who was that person?” I wonder when I think about what I was doing.
What changed was the softness of my heart. God softened my heart. The love of people softened my heart. Forgiveness and releasing anger HUGELY softened my heart. Real warmth in fellowship softened my heart… that warmth was so intense and so unfamiliar to me that I physically sweated!
And as my heart has softened my ability to give good healthy love has increased. And most astonishingly, my understanding of God and His choices and the purpose of Jesus Christ coming and the reason we are all here… all of this and more came into view… as my heart softened.
That is why the bible says
Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life – Prov 4:23
Another thing I learned is that we all think our heart is soft, even now I think my heart is soft… but a year from now I may look back and realise it is not. We are blind to our own fallen condition.
If someone had come to me and told me to “break up your fallow ground” or some similar scripture I would have been unaware of what they were talking about. I might have been offended. I doubt I would have let them speak into my life any more.
Its the love of God and espcially His love THROUGH HIS PEOPLE that has softened my heart and THAT has changed my thinking and my behaviour.
The new me wants to love and be loved in a healthy way… depending on the day. Sometimes I harden up because I over-share about my past and I get triggered… or I think about what happened… and then suddenly my heart protects itself and I start thinking in old ways again. But it doesnt last long.
Can you see? The key was right there all along… for God so LOVED the world.
And what is Jesus Christs command, the one that Paul says is the same from the beginning… no, its not to go evangelize (sigh!)… no its not to tithe… no its not to submit to elders… look in John 14-17… He explicitly says repeatedly that His command is to love one another… He says that they (unbelievers) will know us by our love towards one another.
So… with my newly improved softer heart Im left cold in our churches. Where is the love? Why is it that my healing keeps happening outside the church?