Wednesday, August 29, 2007

If Our Hearts Condemn Us

Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. This then is how we know that we belong to the truth, and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence whenever our hearts condemn us. For God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything. Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God and receive from him anything we ask, because we obey his commands and do what pleases him. (1 John 3:18-22 NIV)

There are two expressions in these few sentences, one seemingly disturbing, and the other reassuring. They are, “whenever our hearts condemn us,” and “if our hearts do not condemn us.” The second expression is the reassuring one. It is connected with confidence, answered prayer and obedience. It is wonderful to be in a state when our hearts do not condemn us. However with some of God’s people, the disturbing expression seems to be true more of the time. They are people who have hearts that condemn them. There is something else, however, that takes the “disturbing” and makes it “reassuring,” and that is the main purpose of the sentence,

Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. This then is how we know that we belong to the truth, and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence whenever our hearts condemn us. For God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything.

The purpose is to take a condemning heart and set it at rest in God’s presence. How? God is greater than our hearts. A heart is not a legitimate condemner or noncondemner. God is greater than our hearts. God is in the business of setting our hearts at rest in His presence. Do not pay too much attention to a condemning heart.

(An excerpt from On Being a Christian by Jim Wilson)

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