Saturday, February 4, 2012

                                WHAT WE STORE SAYS WHO WE ARE

     Living in this rapidly growing age of technology certainly has its advantages, and in many ways its blessings. Unfortunately it is not without its problems.  If you have been the victim of a clerical billing error you know full well the difficulties often involved in trying to correct that mistake.  You will hear the words, "The computer does not make mistakes!"  There is some truth to that statement, but only to a certain point.
What we have come to realize is the computer is not the problem.  The problem is the one entering the data.  We lived this first-hand recently on a trip to the grocery store.  As careful a shopper as Denise is, it was disheartening to find out she had spent more than she had estimated.  It wasn't just a few cents or a couple of dollars, but nearly $27.00.  A closer look at the receipt revealed the problem.  The checker had entered 14 heads of cauliflower when Denise had purchased only 1.  You would think the checker would have caught this mistake for no one can eat that much cauliflower.  This situation was easily resolved, but many times it can be quite a struggle to fix the mistake of someone else.
     In life there is an instrument that is constantly with us and we feed information into this instrument daily.  It is our heart.  Jesus addressed the problem of data processing when He addressed the Pharisees about their heart.  It didn't help when He stated they were a brood of vipers.  The Pharisees and other Jewish leaders must have gotten tired of hearing this since John the Baptist used the same words in his ministry (Mt. 3:7).  Vipers have forked tongues and it may be this is what Jesus made reference to as He confronted the Pharisees about their hypocrisy.
     The Pharisees claimed to speak what was good but Jesus called them evil.  So how can someone who is evil speak something that's good? In today's world Jesus might use the illustration of us putting something into our computer we say is good, when in fact it may be evil.  Very simply Jesus says, "For the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart" (Mt. 12:34)  This teaching is given to admonish us against some of those thoughts we may encounter through the course of a day.
     This is on a personal level.  The only one who can program my heart is me.   The checker made a mistake by entering a wrong number.  On a deeper level we may be sinning if we are not paying attention to what we are putting into our heart.  For out of the heart come our words and our actions.  What we are storing in our heart on a regular basis says much about who we really are.  The damage that can be caused by the tongue springs from what is stored in the heart (Ja. 3:1-6).
     If we are to pursue after what is godly then we must pay constant attention to what we allow to enter our heart.  Just because a thought may enter our mind doesn't mean we have sinned (2 Cor. 10:5).  Sin enters our heart when we allow such thoughts to tempt us to the point of ungodly action (Ja. 1:13-16).  Remember, what we choose to store in our heart says clearly who we really are.  Let us store only what is good in the sight of God.  Rodger