• Faithfully Failing Him

Condition of our hearts can be measured by our comments on social media.

My pastor has said, “If you want to know the condition of your heart then look at your checkbook.”

He is suggesting where you spend your money will reflect the condition of your heart.

I have thought about that statement often, but mostly never felt the depth of it because, for us, our check book shows simply surviving.

This past weekend that statement crept back in to my thoughts but in a different way.

I had an article published by a major news outlet. It was a simple piece about an occasion my husband put my needs before his. The article wasn’t a unique situation, it was just one of many that my husband and I place ourselves last so the other can be first. I used the situation to illustrate how if you each give up yourself and your needs to the other, beautiful things can happen. Your marriage becomes a “thriving garden” — I used this example because it was truly sacrificial. I was gaining something but in return my husband had to give up something(not just our usual 50/50 sharing of duties). I hoped the illustration would encourage couples to look at the needs of the other before themselves.

The comments were 95% positive. People understood the purpose of the illustration, which was selflessness, partnership, and love.

I had 5% not understand and a few of those people left crass comments, some even used foul language.

I understand people will read my words with an outlook shaped by their own backgrounds, experiences, biases, and attitudes towards a certain subject, which I believe is a beautiful thing. It’s how we can read the same piece of writing and are impacted differently.

I understand what I write may not help, impact, or be beneficial to everyone. I don’t understand the need to chastise, curse, or demean someone’s expression of their personal life experiences.

Even though the percentage of detractors were small, I was still bothered. I will be honest, my gut reaction was annoyance, but then after I had time to think about it my heart broke and my pastor’s quote came to mind. How we interact and comment on social media is a strong indication of the current condition of our heart. You can have a dialogue of misunderstanding or disagreement without being intentionally hurtful.

The intention to wound someone shows a condition of the heart that saddens me deeply. The intention of malevolence shows the need for prayer and petition of the Holy Spirit in the hearts of others. I turned my annoyance to prayer. I prayed for hearts to heal, I prayed for Christ to enter all who are living absent from Him, and I prayed for kindness even in disagreement.

As Christ followers let us remember to be the hands and feet of Jesus, not just when “we are seen” but even in the unseen. Even if you are hidden and protected by your screen and keyboard let your words be reflective of the condition of the Holy Spirit residing in you. If you are living in Christ the Holy Spirit will manifest in you—inward {we will have joy of the spirit}, upward {our prayers are lifted to God}, and outward {love will be reflected in our words and actions}.

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