Our actions in life are do not come out of nowhere. A lot of us think this is so. We fly off the handle and say, "I'm sorry, I'm not sure what that was..." But the Bible teaches us that our actions are connected to our heart, especially revelaed in unexpected situations.
I AM AN ANGRY PERSON
My family, as of three weeks ago, moved into a new home. We are very excited about it but this "new" home was actually built in 1971. So we've had our run of issues.
Last week we had a repairman come out to replace some rotted wood in our kitchen. We paid him after the job looked done without inspecting his work very closely (lesson learned there).
Only later, while in my studio, I heard Angela say, 'WE HAVE PROBLEM!' Apparently the repairman (who will remain nameless, although my heart really does want to call him out) thought he could do a halfway job and just use caulk to cover up the holes where the boards didn't meet (I mean huge holes....).
That whole evening was spent tearing out his work and repairing it ourselves. That process included:
- 4 trips to home depot and
- smashing of my thumb with a hammer
Needless to say I was fuming.
Yes, it's ok to be frustrated that someone you hired didn't do a good job. But I was beyond consolable and in sinful anger. What was clearly revealed was that I was more of an angry person than I thought. The situation revealed what was really in my heart.
HUMILITY IN PETER'S HEART & PRIDE IN HEROD'S HEART
Not sure if you remember from Acts 10, but when Peter went to Cornelius' house he found himself in an unexpected situation. Cornelius bowed down to worship him.
In that moment Peter rejected and corrected Cornelius. He deflected the praise and that moment revealed humility in Peter's heart.
That wasn't the case with Herod in Acts 12. Herod (a grandchild of Herod the Great) was persecuting the church and one day gave a speech to the people of Tyre and Sidon. The Bible says he put on his 'royal robes' (which Josephus, a Jewish historian, says was made of silver that sparkled in the sun) and acted in pride, soaking up the praises of man.
The Bible says that as the people shouted, "the voice of God and not of a man," Herod did not give glory to God and God sent an angel to kill him on the spot.
In comparison with Peter, who rejected the praise of a man, Herod revels in it, soaking it up. The situation that Herod found himself in revealed what was in his heart.
SIN IS SERIOUS
I told my story of the shotty repairman earlier, but anger is no light matter. James says anger does not produce the 'righteousness of God' (James 1:20). Our actions come from our heart. So we have to ask ourselves, what's in our hearts? pride? humility? anger?
I confessed my anger afterwards through text-message to some close friends and asked for prayer. Sin hates being revealed. So I'm praying that that is the start of God rooting out the anger in my life.
What about you? What kinds of things come out of you when unexpected situations arise?
As you lead your family, either using our weekly devotional or your own, be aware that our Christian life is not just external but it is primarily internal. It's what is in our hearts.
Are they filled with the Spirit overflowing in love, peace and patience?
At the beginning of this week, I don't know what unexpected situations will arise. But I pray that I will put to death the deeds of the flesh that are eagerly waiting to pop their ugly heads out. It is serious and a battle worth fighting. Don't grow weary!
Josh Walker (@joshdwalker) is the co-founder and owner of One Fifty Media House, a Houston, TX based Audio and Video Design Team. He is the writer and author of music products such as Family Devo, Grammar Time and Hymns For Selena. He is married to Angela and has two beautiful children: Nathan and Charity Joy.