Nov 1, 2013

Yesterday the Lord Showed Me My Heart

Yesterday the Lord showed me my heart.

And it was ugly.

When I arrived at work, I spoke to a co-worker who I’ll call Fred on the way in from the parking lot. He hardly paused long enough to listen, then answered over his shoulder as he continued to walk by. 

Not to be discouraged, I went to his desk a few minutes later to continue the conversation. I thought he may have needed to get inside quickly for some reason and that’s why he didn’t stop to chat. Found out from his continued brief responses that no, he just didn’t want to talk to me.

Crushed and heart-broken, I went back to my desk. I’ve seen Fred enjoy friendly conversations with others about non-work topics. Since I work somewhat closely with him, I’ve been trying on and off for a while to “join in” and be friendly too. His short answers have always bothered me a little, but until yesterday I always managed to shrug them off. But I guess it finally hit me: Fred just doesn’t like me personally.

Close to tears, I sat at my desk and talked to the Lord about why it hurt so much this time. I knew I was overreacting because I knew *I* had people I didn’t especially like, and I knew it was not realistic to expect everyone to like me.

Yet my heart just hurt so much.

“You know how you are with people you don’t particularly like?  This is how they feel when you treat them like Fred treated you.”

Stunned by His truth, my heart broke even more. Oh my, yes, I’ve treated others just like this! Oh my, I had no idea! I didn’t want to admit it, but I had to face the ugly truth that I was just like Fred. When someone I didn’t “like” tried to talk to me and I was not interested, I gave the one-word answers and hurried to get away. And I’ve always felt bad about it later…but not bad enough to change. 

Until yesterday.

Oh Lord, I am so sorry!

In 2 Corinthians 7:10, Paul speaks about repentance.

“Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.”

Up until now, I had experienced worldly sorrow that brought death. I felt sorry for a moment after I mistreated someone, then quickly moved on, leaving a trail of hurt in my wake. But now I experienced godly sorrow that transformed my heart: brought salvation to my sinful brokenness, and left no regret that the Lord had to break my heart to heal it.

And in His great mercy, He gave me an immediate opportunity to reveal what He had done and to allow me to experience the joy of my changed heart.

I had a meeting scheduled with a person I had previously shunned. With my new revelation, I waited with excitement for the meeting time so I could welcome him and be friendly to him.  My “like” of this person was real and from my heart – my God-changed heart. The difference was nothing short of miraculous.

As I write this post, I continue to be in awe and wonder at yesterday’s events. Once again, I am humbled and amazed at how little it takes from me – just a willing heart and a choice to obey – to receive so much from Him. I cannot change my own heart by “doing” like I can improve my physical fitness through eating right and exercise. To become more spiritually fit, my “doing” is simply to allow Him to change me – to respond in obedience when He initiates. I rest in Him, He works in me. 

Oh, the glorious life of walking with Jesus!

Yesterday the Lord showed me my ugly heart. Today, I’m so glad He did!

TODAY’S CHALLENGE: Where are you resisting what the Lord is trying to work into your heart? What is stopping you from allowing Him to change you?

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  1. This is wonderful! I love those moments with God! He is intentional and firm yet remains tender and loving when He confronts our hearts. And the lasting result is always way better than the hurt we feel when we first realize how wrong we've been. Thanks for sharing :)

    1. Thank you for your comment! Yes, the pain of change is far better than the ongoing pain of staying where we are.

  2. Gracious, Mary -- don't we all have those shameful experiences? To recognize (and agree with) the ugliness is one thing, but to turn it over to Him and allow Him to work through it is another. But as you said, it's such a little thing to be willing. And He does such huge things with it!

    1. Yes, so true! And I spent many years agreeing that my behavior was wrong and hurtful, but not really "getting it". I'm so thankful He does what it takes to get my attention! Thank you for your comment, Susan!

  3. Great post Mary! I can totally relate - thank you for sharing your heart :)

    1. Thank you, Kelly! I appreciate your encouragement!


Thank you for your G-rated comments!