He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Psalm 40:3a

Monday, February 20, 2017

A Deceitful Heart

           Because of technology, there are people known worldwide, and immediately recognized, by just saying their first name.  In the sports world is Dale Sr., or Pele.  In Hollywood, there is Iced-T, Charo, Oprah, or Twiggy.  Historically: Galileo, Rembrandt, and Michelangelo. And musically: Elvis, Shania, Bach, or Beethoven. These are only a sampling!

Still others would require a first and last name, like Princess Diana, (not a first name but that is how she was known), Brooks Robinson, Abe Lincoln, FDR, Jimmy Connors, Nadia Comaneci, George Jones, Farrah Fawcett, Michael Landon, C.S. Lewis or Catherine Marshall and a host of others, that immediately upon hearing (depending on age and interest), creates images in your mind of that person or the personality they played on television, what they did historically, song they sang, sport they participated in, or book they wrote.

Each of the people named have left a legacy and definite impressions on those who knew of them.  People either loved them or hated them!  What they did in public, and often in their personal lives, had an impact on what people thought of them!  There are those who project a completely different persona than they are in “real life.”  Their goal is to build a “reputation.”  Sometimes it’s for good, other times not so much!

Our lives aren’t much different.  If someone said my name in a crowd of people I did not already know, it’s likely no one would have a clue who I was!   But it’s what I do around those I know, that will make a difference!  My day to day life should mirror my beliefs rather than trying to be someone (or something) I am not.

There are those who prefer to live in a luxurious home in an affluent neighborhood, drive an expensive car, wear fine clothes and eat only in exclusive restaurants.  Yet, often it is people living on credit!  They don’t really own their house, car or much of what is in it!  They shop with “plastic,” maxing out their credit cards and then getting another!  They want those they know, to think of them as wealthy and well-to-do.

The opposite of those who try to make you think they are wealthy, are those who are well off but live the lives of paupers.  They penny pinch and make us think of Scrooge, denying themselves and their families of what they even need.

Our spiritual life is often another area where we project images that aren’t always true.  We attend every service at our local church, are active in meetings and events as they arise within the congregation.  We teach Sunday School classes and workshops, and tithe regularly.  We volunteer our time whenever we can, yet this is all a façade.  Our relationship with the Father is sparse at best.  We seldom pray and read our Bible so rarely we brush off the week’s worth of dust since the last time we carried it with us to church.

Why do we do this?  Who suffers?  Every person who willfully is an “Outward Christian only,” suffers hugely!  We’re not only deceiving others; we are deceiving ourselves.  We need to look inward at our “deceitful heart” and make immediate changes.  Our eternal destiny demands it!