Read Proverbs 4:23, Luke 6:45, Galatians 5:22 and Luke 21:34-36
It’s the central part of you, where the Holy Spirit lives. The soul that holds the passion for what you do. The desire to keep doing something long after you’re frustrated. It’s the place where perseverance is grown. Heart is the ability to participate in something that energizes you even if it exhausts you. It’s the lens with which you remember your experiences and take in new knowledge. It’s the place that demonstrates love, joy, peace, patience, kindness and more. It is the well spring of life.
In Matters of the Heart part one, you read about two experiences of overflow from the heart that was good (if you didn’t read it, go back and read it now). Both experiences had echoes of the nine fruits of the spirit (Galatians 5:22).
But what about experiences with overflow from the heart that’s not good? (Luke 21:34-36)
Regrettably, I’ve been the giver and receiver of ugly. As a teenager, I carried a lot pain and grief. That pain and grief coupled with ideas and opinions rooted in my limited wisdom and knowledge I unleashed a whole bushel of ugly on my mom. That unleashing happened when I thought she had done wrong by me. She didn’t deserve it, and with my now mature wisdom and knowledge in truth, I know it was out right wrong.
Or that time when the girl at school said she wasn’t interested in meeting or knowing me because she had enough friends. That stung and left a mark of rejection on me. After knowing her later in life, I’m willing to argue she wrestled with anxiety and pressure to perform. Adding one more person to the mix would have tipped her bucket. I just happened to be a receiver of the ugly overflow from her heart.
How about you?
Have you been on the receiving end of someone’s ugly? Or have you been the one giving side of the ugly because of what was brewing in your heart?
There’s a great example of the overflow of hearts in Acts 6:8-8:1. It’s the account of Stephen’s death.
Stephen was a new deacon; whose heart was full of the Holy Spirit. As he carried out his job of caring for the widows, “he did great wonders and miraculous signs” (Acts 6: 8 NIV). His actions were from the overflow of is heart where the Holy Spirit now lived. He was telling of the good news of Jesus and caring for others. But the Sanhedrin, the ones who persecuted Jesus, saw that this was too much like that Jesus fellow and they had to shut him up. The overflow of their hearts was anger and ugly toward Jesus or anything that reflected Jesus.
Stephen was seized, and tried, where he reminded the Sanhedrin of their legacy in Christ. The reminder of their history only fueled the ugly in their hearts and the wrong they believed. With their fury and anger, they sentenced Stephen to be stoned to death. Just before they drug him out of the city to be stoned, Jesus appeared to Stephen. Stephen out of the overflow of his heart with his eyes on Jesus prayed for Jesus to take him, and for this angry act to not be held against the Sanhedrin. While the Sanhedrin pummeled his body in their anger, Stephen fell asleep. Even though Stephen’s persecution was unjust, he prayed that his persecutors would be forgiven.
Two hearts. One destroying life out of anger, and the other asking for life out of love.
What is overflowing from your heart?
Can you share a time when Ugly has come out of your heart?
Can you share a time when Good has come out of your heart?
Our actions and words reveal what is in our hearts.
Verse Memory Challenge: Proverbs 4:23, Luke 6:45