Navigating the Heart

Does God judge us on our performance around following the rules? Does God really care about us acting like something we aren’t? Let’s be honest, the forgiveness of sins is just that…a gift of forgiveness because of something we are…not something we aren’t and it isn’t based on performance. 

Navigating the turbulent seas of our hearts isn’t easy. For instance, as a child, it was so easy. Go to Sunday school, morning services, evening training union, Wednesday dinner in the dining hall, and then prayer meeting. There wasn’t a complicated reason for doing things…you just did. 

Today, for whatever reason, we have to know ‘why’ about everything. I’ve watched the pendulum swing, even in my own generation, where the parents are pretty orthodox about how to do life and the kids are LOST…I mean they couldn’t work their way out of a wet paper bag kinda lost. I’ve watched good kids, who lived in homes with great marriages, walk out the door and marry the WORST people and spend years spiraling. Some pull out of the fatal spin, some crash and burn. But does this make one group better than the other?

To Judge – “A conclusion to form an opinion”….

It’s hard, like trying to walk over ice, to keep from falling into giving Judge Judy a run for her money. For most of us, our ‘opinions’ on things is part of our understanding of reality and where our comfort level begins. I remember, back in my college days, a good friend invited me to his church to sing in the youth choir. I didn’t think the cultural differences would matter but once they handed me my maroon choir robe with gold trim and explained how we were to shuffle, then clap to the side, shuffle and clap to the other side all of the ways up to the choir loft, I realized I wasn’t in Kansas anymore. My heart was in the right place but my steps and hand claps were NOT. In a sea of African American faces, the little white dot of my out-of-rhythm face was noticed by all and clearly judged.  The teenagers in the balcony were unashamedly rolling in the aisles, not from a Charismatic fit, but because the ‘white guy’ was the best thing they had seen in church in years! (choir goes to the left, Jeff goes to the right). 

I don’t blame them. It’s easy to judge the new, the different, the odd, or even the difficult and wrong. When our scriptures say ‘Revenge is mine saith the Lord’ we somehow, back in the day turned this into Christian soldiers…not the song but literally. We would truly ‘storm the castle to ‘convert or kill’ what we thought was wrong or different. 

Today, we are MUCH more sedate about it. We just use our words, and our opinions and as you can see by number of denominations we have, we clearly can’t get along. As I have said many many times, we are messy. 

I think there is judgment from God on how we don’t let Him into the broken, judgemental, opinionated parts of our hearts. 

The school I love and attended, and brag about isn’t the same place it was. Missionary Aviation isn’t needed anymore…yea okay really?… and their musical program is gone. (What!) It isn’t the same but let’s be honest, nothing is the same except Christ. As we get older we easily calcify and harden, but our Lord promises in Ezekiel 36:26 to give us a new spirit – “A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh.”

I would think asking Him to walk into the old, crusty, dusty, unused rooms of our hearts and give us a fresh, clean soft heart might be a place to really point our compass in this sea of life instead of judging everyone and everything around us that is different or wrong.

Peace on your journey this week.



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