Monday, October 7, 2013

Heart vs Action

I've had several discussions lately with a few different people about God and the whole idea of heart vs actions.  I have found that while many people believe that God looks at the heart a lot of people still live their lives as though they have to earn they way.  I'll admit at times I fall into that same mind set.

The more I try to understand the dilemma of heart vs action the more I come to the realization that the heart being right is foremost but that actions coming from that heart are also important. 

When I listen to people talk of church is recent past many share about a church that was so motivated about doing the right things, that they negated the heart and often pushed people away from the church because they were committing a select group of sins.  The sad part is that while doing so, many of these people doing the pushing were also committing a different set of sins, but didn't deem them as such or were unwilling to acknowledge that they had struggles.

Since that church, there has also been a movement of people saying that your actions don't matter as long as your heart is right.  While I see where they are coming from and I can certainly see how they can come to this conclusion, I think it leaves room for people to want to be different, but not truly be repentant.

As I was trying to figure out the best way to illustrate my thought, I had to go back to using an illustration of me and my kids.

A few years ago I was a youth pastor and found myself extremely busy.  I was working a full time job, being a youth pastor, doing the necessary school work to remain a licensed pastor, and be a husband/father.  I thought I was doing all the right things.  I was providing for my family, doing what God had asked me to do, but I was negating my families greater needs.

I wanted to be a good dad.  I wanted to be a good husband.  I wanted to provide for my family  I wanted to serve God.  I wanted to do what He had called me to do. 

It took some time, but I came to the realization that my first calling in life, behind loving God, is to lead and provide for my family.  When I was able to do that, then anything else God may have asked me to do, would fall into place. 

While my heart may have been in the right place while I was working 80+ hours a week, my actions didn't follow.  My family suffered.  My kids suffered. My wife suffered.

I believe God does look at the heart.  I too however believe that God looks to see if we act upon our heart.  While He does offer us grace, I believe He also wants to use accept that grace and live a life that reflects that rather than a life that says "let me keep doing what I was doing so God's grace can be shown more."

Tuesday, October 1, 2013


I have heard it said several times recently that one does not simply stop worshiping.  Our lives are very much about worship.  Our thoughts, our actions, our desires are all reflective of our worship.

The more I think about that idea, the more I can easily see it in my life and in the lives of others.  Whatever you focus on, whatever causes you to worry, whatever consumes your thoughts, actions, and desires reflects the God that you serve. 

For many the god they serve started out as something that was good. family is good, working is good, food is good, knowledge is good, but when those things replace the relationship designed for God and man or when those things get in teh way of what God has asked you to do, they have become your God.

As a friend of mine put it, "our God is our bellies," and for many that is true.  Our lives are consumed by thinking about the next meal we are going to eat or the next snack that we get to enjoy.  While food in and of itself is not bad by any means and hunger is natural the fact that we get consumed with feeding ourselves.

As I  think about all the times I have been worrying lately; where my thoughts are generally throughout the day; what motivates me to do the things I do I can very much see areas in my life where I don't let God be God and that my focus is far from being on Him.

Maybe I am the only one that deals with this, but I doubt it.  Maybe you need to examine where you spend your time, your money, your efforts, etc.  Maybe something or someone other than God is playing god in your life.

Just a thought.