Thoughts Reveal Your Heart

As a leader by occupation, in authority of over 70 women, I strive to realistically evaluate my strengths and weaknesses frequently. I ask myself everyday “what could I do differently to be more effective or efficient”. “How are my actions affecting the results and do they benefit the overall goals?”

I don’t see this thoughtful investigation happening daily in the lives of most Christians regarding their walk with Christ. Instead, and myself included, I see excuses, blame, disregard or just plain denial. We hide behind the fear of people seeing the real us. The human side. The side God forgives but other people don’t. Just be real. If we are real with ourselves God can conform and transform our inner man (heart). But it’s our lack of authenticity that hinders Christ’s work in our lives. We would rather sit in our own mess than realize we stink and allow God to help.

Are we truly aware of the depths of our heart (inner man) and all things lurking around in there?
How do you know what is truly in your heart? We all like to believe we are good. The truth is that the Bible is the only standard by which we must be measured.
Are we delivered from every wrong sin in our heart at salvation? Or are we being delivered? A constant, continual growth as we mature in Christ?

Imagine an old fashion water well. To draw water requires a bucket tied to the end of a rope. The water is far below the surface. You can’t see the water. Is it good? Is it bitter? Let down the bucket and draw up some water from the well. What did you get?

Prov 23:7 (KJV) For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he

That is the same as the well of your “heart”. Your thoughts come from your heart. They guide your actions and your words. Is it good? Or bitter?

What determines the out-flow of your heart?

1. What you put in is what you get out. What is put in the water determines how it will taste.

I see people who have deep hurts and unforgiveness lurking in their hearts. For whatever reason they pretend it’s not there or don’t realize it’s there. Large walls are built up around their heart. The walls hide what is deep inside. You know what is inside by your thoughts and actions.

Here is a simplistic view: If the thoughts are hurtful you are hurt. If the thoughts are unforgiving you have not forgiven. If the thoughts are bitter you have a root of bitterness which stems from unforgiveness. If the thoughts are impatient you are impatient in your heart. If your thoughts are sinful your carnal self needs to be sacrificed a little more. James 1:19-20 “…slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life God desires” So if your thoughts and words are anger that does not please God. James 1:21 says to “get rid of moral filth” so anger is moral filth and evil.

Verse 22 says “Do not merely listen to the word and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.”

On the flip side: if your thoughts are loving you have love in your heart. If your thoughts are patient you have patience, etc. Will your thoughts always be perfect? Probably not. But we should always be striving to have the mind of Christ.

2. What you allow to stay will poison your heart. Cleanse your heart by renewing your mind with the Word of God.

Rom 12:12 “Be transformed by the renewing of your mind”

2 Cor 4:16 “our inner man is being renewed day by day”

Col. 3:10 – “the new man is being renewed to a true knowledge…”

Titus 3:5 – “renewing by the Holy Spirit”

How is it that we have the bad thoughts and then in the moments later have good thoughts? Paul said:

Romans 7:21-23 (NIV) So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23 but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me.

Blindly, I lived for years completely deceived. I didn’t out-right sin (as we would label sin) but I had bitterness, unforgiveness, regret, pride, severe insecurities, selfishness, self-reliance, anger, hate, greed, envy, strife, judgemental, critical, vanity ….the list was long. I am still dealing with some of these. Remember, we are being saved, formed, tried like silver. This is not an immediate, microwave experience.

Proverbs 4:23 Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.

All that junk was in my heart, so it came out. It was evident in my conversation. My self opinions. My interactions with others. My interactions with God.

I judged. I would say “I forgive” but hold long lists in my head of past wrongs. Some people can never get over harmful actions of others. God can heal all things. Even deep-rooted, long time hurt and pain.

1st step is always forgiveness

Don’t underestimate the power of forgiveness. Forgiveness applies the redemptive power of the blood of Jesus Christ that was shed just for you. Applied to your heart and your circumstance it heals the pain, covers the wound and stops the enemy’s work.

Many times deep hurt or long term regret can poison a heart. Forgiveness as Jesus commands is the only answer. Forgive yourself and forgive others. Accept forgiveness because it is freely given to you.

True forgiveness is evident when the event no longer haunts you in your thoughts. When you can think of the incident with no remorse, anger or bitterness indicates forgiveness.

How do you forgive when it’s just too hard?

1. Confess before God “I choose to forgive, work it in my heart until it is complete.” “I choose to forgive myself and  ______(fill in the blank)”

2. “I ask forgiveness for not forgiving as you have commanded me to”

3. “I accept the work of forgiveness in my heart”

2nd step is to ask God for help

Please pray and allow the Holy Spirit to show you the “issues” of your heart. Start by listening to your thoughts and the words you use. If they do not line up with the examples of godly living and speech exemplified in the Bible then know you just found an issue. Congratulations!

Phil 4:8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right,
whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is
excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.

1 Corinthians 13:4-8 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

1. Pray for the Holy Spirit to reveal your own darkness in your heart and it’s root cause.

2. Think on what, who or where it started.

3. Forgive yourself and others out loud in prayer for each issue revealed.

4. Pray for strength and wisdom to guard your heart – “keep your heart with diligence”

5. Don’t beat yourself up for every slip. Your Heavenly Father will not. Just be quick to repent and be careful to watch the cause of the slip up.

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