One thing I’m becoming increasingly aware of is the need to be honest. Honest with others, myself, and most importantly God. I recently began going before God in prayer in ways that I haven’t in previous months. It has been so freeing and I know He knows all that I say, do, think, etc. but He still desires for us to confess to Him how we are doing because He cares. It also is a time where we can be completely honest and forthcoming about our lives, thoughts and emotions. I think that even more than confessing it to God, that it is almost more important to acknowledge it ourselves. I know that forgiveness by God is endless and that Jesus blood covers and always will, but we need to acknowledge the state of our heart to see where the changes need to start.
This time has allowed me to see the current state of my heart, one that is at times a very scary thing to think of. But as I think of where I am now I must think of where I was, and where I am going. As you read this you are assured to be thinking the same things that I thought as I first approached this; “I don’t want to know what the state of my heart is.” That thought normally comes when we already assume what we’re going to find out; that the bitter hardness of our heart far outweighs that of gladness and appreciation. This was the case in my life at least.
Not only does this process of acknowledging and confessing our sins, thoughts, feelings to God bring about forgiveness and honesty, it also brings forth the ability to see where we are going quickly. Let me tell you what I mean, when we are constantly honest with God He is truthful in telling us where we are and will allow us to see the direction in our heart and mind are going. When we continue down the road of complacency we allow ourselves and our hearts to progress into the state of bitterness even before we know that it’s happening. But transversely, when we are honest with God, before we progress down the road of complacency and bitterness His truth guides us back on the path of gladness and joy.
You see, inside the human heart is the ability to become bitter and the ability to be glad no matter what. It’s a choice, and one we make every day. With each choice we are allowing something to grow within our heart. Is it bitterness that’s growing or gladness? I heard it once described this way: that within the human heart is a coiled up snake ready to attack, and that is so true. So, with each choice we make we can subdue the snake within us or allow it to strike.
What is growing? do you have bitterness growing like a weed within your heart, or do you have gladness which shines like a sun flower?
I recently experienced a situation where my heart just sunk. I was disappointed, upset, mad, resentful and bitter. It was a situation that needed a response. It was the question, “do I cultivate bitterness or do I cultivate gladness?” I approached the situation as many people do, I dwelt on the issue and replayed the meeting in my head and allowed my interpretation of what was being said to mean something entirely different. (I still don’t know the TRUE meaning) Even if I don’t know, I know I have the choice between a weed and a flower, bitterness and gladness.
I’m going to be honest with you, for the first day and a half I was responsible for growing a weed so big I could just as well have called it a bean stalk. My emotions and resentment soared sky high and when it reached it’s boiling point I was gently nudged to seek God’s will and His word. So I did and boy did He point some heavenly round up on that puppy! He rid me of my bitterness and allowed me to look at the situation with a glad and thankful heart.
I encourage you to think about each interaction in the coming future as an opportunity to grow; either gladness or bitterness. Choice gladness. It’s always better.