Sunday, October 18, 2020

A Heart Check-Up

Love is patient and kind;

love does not envy or boast;

it is not arrogant or rude.

It does not insist on it's own way;

it is not irritable or resentful;

it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.

Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never ends. 

1 Corinthians 13:4-8 ESV

Have you ever asked God to show you the truth about your own heart? I grew up loving Jesus from as far back as I can remember. I always wanted to live for Him and to do the right thing. It was easy for me to believe the truth of the Bible when it says that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. It was even easy for me to acknowledge and repent of my own sinful acts and choices. But, the truth is I struggled with the Bible verse that says there is no one good, no not one. I understood the concept that this is another way of saying that all of us have sinned and fallen short of God's perfect holiness. But, because I had always wanted to be a good girl and tried to be a good girl, because my area of sin struggle was more inner attitudes than outward behaviors that everyone could see, a little voice within me would argue with God's Word when it said there is no one good, no not one. I wanted there to be some sort of parentheses added to that verse-there is no one good, no not one, (except Elizabeth, because, though she's not perfect, though she has, on occasion, sinned she always wanted to be good and tried to be good so she can have a pass on this one.)  Then, one night, I asked God to show me the truth about my own heart and He actually did. I saw how proud, arrogant, judgmental, resentful, unforgiving, stubborn, and hard my heart was. It was excruciating. I cried deep tears of repentance, because I saw that my heart was full of sinful attitudes. God cleansed my heart that night and made my heart that had been hard with pride, stubbornness and hidden areas of anger, unforgiveness, bitterness and resentment into a  clean and tender heart. That was two decades ago, but the memory lives on in me every day. I see clearly where my struggle and weakness lies-in my own self-righteous attitudes and tendencies. I begin most every day asking God to search my heart and to keep it clean from those ugly attitudinal sins that like to accumulate there. I want to live with a heart that is tender and pliable in God's hands.

Today, I had a similar heart revealing experience while listening to a sermon on love. The speaker talked about personalizing the verses from 1 Corinthians 13 about love. He suggested putting our own name in the text. And so I did.

Elizabeth is patient and kind;

Elizabeth does not envy or boast;

Elizabeth is not arrogant or rude.

Elizabeth does not insist on her own way;

Elizabeth is not irritable or resentful;

Elizabeth does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.

Elizabeth bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Elizabeth's love never ends. 

Immediately, I was convicted. So many of these things are not true about me. But, thankfully, that wasn't the end of the exercise. The next step was to ask the Holy Spirit Who dwells within the spirit on the believer to help me to love like God loves. 

God change me!

 Holy Spirit help me to be patient and kind;

Help me not to envy or boast;

Help me not to be arrogant or rude.

Help me not to insist on my own way;

Help me not to be irritable or resentful;

Help me not to rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoice with the truth.

Help me to bear all things, believe all things, hope all things, endure all things.

Help me to love like You God, with love that never ends.

God's Word is true. There is no one good, no not one, including me. While, on the outside, I may look like a good girl, I know that without God's forgiveness and help my heart tends to be a selfish, sinful, unloving mess. But, thanks be to God, His grace is sufficient to forgive me, to cleanse me from all of my unrighteous thoughts, attitudes and deeds and to help me to do what I cannot do in my own strength. Now that's good news!


  1. "I want to live with a heart that is tender and pliable in God's hands." Yes, I do too. I am most grateful that when God reveals what is yet in my heart and needs to be uprooted, He does so to bring health and healing. He does the work patiently in us, day after day, knowing it is a process which takes place over a lifetime. Thanking Him this morning for His grace and mercy. Blessings!

    1. I also thank God for His new mercies every day and His enabling grace to grow and mature and change. Yes, it's a lifelong process!

  2. Oh I love this. Putting your own name in really brings the meaning home and also makes you check and question yourself.

  3. Oh my, the Lord surely does show us those things about ourselves. Thank God that we are always a work in progress.

    1. Yes, we are for sure always a work in progress and God is always gracious to help us!

  4. This one was excellent, Elizabeth! Thanks so much. I needed to hear this again.


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