Guard the Heart

By Stan Mitchell
redheartdraw.jpgHow do you prevent a hurtful, sinful action taking place?
“We couldn’t help it,” the couple who had an affair said, “we were simply overcome by loneliness and need.”
“I just lost my temper,” the harried manager said, “and before I knew it, I had insulted my secretary, my employees, everyone I work with.”
“I’m not abandoning my brothers and sisters in the church,” says the backslidden member, “I’m leaving a bunch of hypocrites who did not meet my expectations!”
“I’m not gossiping about my friends,” says the church member, “I would say this to her face if she was with us right now!”
Being overwhelmed with the emotion of the moment seems to serve as an excuse for practically any action that would otherwise have been considered unkind or immoral.
But think of all the broken hearts that result! Is there a better way?
Oh yes, there is!
Usually we fail to prevent these actions because we try to cut them out at the eruption level, rather than at the motive level.
Jesus urged us not to “hate our brother.” If we deal with the hate, we will be very unlikely to take his life. He urges us to not “look on a woman lustfully.” If we can curtail the thought, we will have overcome the action (Matthew 5:21-28).
Cut the roots, and the weed won’t infest the ground!
Solomon put it this way: “Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life” (Proverbs 4:23, ESV).
Take your heart medicine. Be pure in heart. If you can get rid of the motive, you will have conquered the action.

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