Wednesday, April 16, 2014

What's in your storehouse? Part 2

The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart. (Luke 6:45 NASB)

In the previous post, we looked at what should not fill our hearts. Today, we look more closely at what should fill our hearts. In his letter to the church at Philippi, Paul wrote about this very topic of what should fill our minds, and as a result, our hearts. "Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things." (Philippians 4:8 NASB)   We are to dwell (or consider or deliberate) on what is good. Our standard for "dwelling" should be, "Is it true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, of good reputation, excellence, worthy of praise?" It's not hard to recognize good, is it?  

Sometimes it's a little harder to recognize the bad.  That morsel of gossip shared as a "prayer request", the "righteous anger" after we have been hurt by a friend, the disapproval of a loved one's behavior can all look fairly benign, and may be. It is easy, however, to move from concern about someone's poor choice to a judgmental, critical spirit toward them. 

How do we make the distinction and keep our minds and hearts "pure"?  The first step is to ask for God's help. He wants our hearts pure and is happy to help us. The second step is to do what 2 Corinthians 10:5 recommends.  "We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ," (2 Corinthians 10:5 NASB).  We destroy our silly speculations by taking our thoughts captive. 

Once we have "captured" our speculations, what do we do with them? We can cage them in our minds, where they will be constantly trying to escape, or we can give them to our God and ask Him to remove them completely. Giving them to God is, of course, infinitely more desirable. 

In case we didn't quite recognize this, filling our hearts and minds requires one thing of us. CHOICE. We have a choice about what we use to fill our hearts and minds. If we want a heart that pleases God, we need to choose accordingly. We can't have it any other way. 

Pray today that we and our loved ones will choose to fill our hearts and minds only with that which pleases our Lord.