Home is where the heart is…Some people wear their hearts on their selves, are just a couple that come to my mind…here are a few others from https://www.liveabout.com
François de la Rochefoucauld: “The heart is forever making the head its fool.” Kahlil Gibran: “Beauty is not in the face; Beauty is a light in the heart.” Confucius: “Wherever you go, go with all your heart.” James Earl Jones: “One of the hardest things in life is having words in your heart that you can’t utter.”Jan 14, 2020
The Bible has a lot to say about the heart… Proverbs 3:5…Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding
Proverbs 4:23…Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.
Psalm 51:10…Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Psalm 19:14…May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.
Matthew 5:8…Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
God looks into our hearts, into the very being of our souls and it is not unreasonable to suggest that recognizing our sins and our need for repentance cannot become a matter of the heart. We often associate the heart with emotions…for instance it’s with heart felt sorrow or my heart is broken…and there are many more. The point being that emotions can be of God, sincere and deeply felt…but emotions don’t always tell the truth.
The heart is devious above all else; it is perverse—who can understand it?
Sin can be a matter of the heart. One thing is common among the human race, we all have a problem owning up to the sins in our lives. My experience has been that most people don’t like, rules, discipline or accountability. We can be exceptionally stubborn to acceptance of any of the three. As Christians we can accept all three from a biblical context…well most of the time. When we sin and recognize what we have done or God lays it on our heart what we have done, we own up to it and seek forgiveness through repentance and the mercy of our Lord and Savior. A word that means one thing…the action of repenting; sincere regret or remorse. The definition leaves no wiggle room. Some would say it is a Heart thing. It is sometimes in this process that another trait of we mortals comes into play…excuses. I have written in the past about this trend which I call a “Religion of Convenience” and I believe that we may have also developed a repentance of convenience. Owning up is hard to do, accountability is not easy to accept and most all of us have a hard time doing that. We look for the easy way out or at least a way to lessen the sin and avoid true repentance. One of my favorite short stories is as follows.
W. C. Fields (1879-1946) Friends were surprised to discover Fields on his deathbed searching through the Bible. He explained: “I’m looking for a loophole.”
Will Anderson wrote an article in Christian Living, June 5, 2019, I would like to share some of his thoughts with you. He wrote about the loopholes we use to excuse sin. There is that in the moment thing, the heart thing when we are overcome by emotion. Mr Anderson writes that emotions don’t always tell the truth. My take is a kid playing in the mud realizing mom will not be happy with this mess…he cleans himself up but never commits to not doing that again. For the moment we are sorry but the emotions of the moment led us to start looking for loopholes…you know, it wasn’t all that bad, could have been worse.
The next one I found interesting, “The Percentage Plea.” The ole I ain’t a bad guy thing. My obedience far outweighs the sin in my life. I ran the numbers and they don’t look all that bad. There is a case of deception here. We hope good outweighing the bad, God will excuse the little wrong in our lives.
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. Well, that won’t work. When we search for loopholes we guarantee sin will grow.
The next one… Institutional Cynicism, for Christians it is the legalism involved in the don’t or can’t do list. Just like the secular world, you can’t legislate what’s in a person’s heart. Mr Anderson points out that no one wants to be told how to live. Thus creating an excuse for us to find fault with the church laws and an excuse for our behavior, a very convenient loophole. Read Matthew 23 for a better understanding of his point.
I love this next one….there is safety in a crowd. The fourth one is Hiding in the Herd.
This one rung a bell with me, a simple truth often overlooked but a strong influencer in our lives. Does the old saying…birds of a feather… ring a bell? Yes, we can grow in community or be stifled. There is room for growth but it can become the wrong kind. Judgmental, exclusionary and lacking in tolerance toward those who don’t meet our standards or rules. I have another name for this…Cultural of societal norms and customs. Another loophole to lessen our perception of wrong and the need for forgiveness. Well, it seems everyone is doing it.
The last one is in some ways the most dangerous. We can become so enamored with ourselves that we see only the good and then start thinking we have become indispensable to home, work and even the church…or even more disturbing the work of God’s kingdom. Might be a little loophole here for us to as Mr Anderson says, dabble in a little rebellion. God’s eyes are fixed on our hearts…does what we do in public reflect our private habits?
Loopholes…there are none but there is a door. Jesus Christ is that door, he is the door keeper you might say. He has the keys to Heaven and Hell…There is no loophole.
Life is Good