The Heart of the Matter
A man is not a Jew if he is only one outwardly, nor is circumcision merely outward and physical. No, a man is a Jew if he is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a man’s praise is not from men, but from God. Romans 2: 29 NIV
My thoughts turn inward at Christmastime. That may sound strange since this time of year is full of outward events: decorating, shopping, food preparation and party hosting.
My question is this: Does my inner life match my outward activity?
God sees deep within us. I think He has laser vision. What does He see when He looks at my heart?
Thankfully, He doesn’t just coldly diagnosis the heart condition; He possesses the power (and the desire) to clean, stretch, and to fill our hearts so that we are genuinely the same inside and out.
Two Christmas story favorites, A Christmas Carol and How the Grinch Stole Christmas, focus on the heart. Hear the profound epilogues of Charles Dickens and Dr. Seuss:
“Scrooge was better than his word. He did it all, and infinitely more; and to Tiny Tim, who did not die, he was a second father. He became as good a friend, as good a master, and as good a man, as the good old city knew, or any other good old city, town, or borough, in the good old world. Some people laughed to see the alteration in him, but he let them laugh, and little heeded them; for he was wise enough to know that nothing ever happened on this globe, for good, at which some people did not have their fill of laughter in the outset; and knowing that such as these would be blind anyway, he thought it quite as well that they should wrinkle up their eyes in grins, as have the malady in less attractive forms. His own heart laughed: and that was quite enough for him.” (A Christmas Carol )
And what happened then…?
Well…in Who-ville they say
That the Grinch’s small heart
Grew three sizes that day!
And the minute his heart didn’t feel quite so tight,
He whizzed with his load through the bright morning light
And he brought back the toys! And the food for the feast!
The Grinch carved the roast beast!
(How the Grinch Stole Christmas)
What is happening in our hearts this Christmas season? It matters the most to God. May we ask the Holy Spirit to give us spiritual heart therapy. He knows exactly what we need so that our hearts will truly laugh.
Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. Psalm 139: 23, 24 NIV