Proverbs 31: 11-12, Philippians 2:14-15, Proverbs 18: 21, James 1: 22-24, James 1:26, James 1:19, James 5:16, 2 Corinthians 10:5, Ephesians 4: 25, 2 Corinthians 12:20
Years ago, the following Bible verses struck my heart as I read them. The bits that really went deep I've made bold:
- Proverbs 31: 11-12 The heart of her husband safely trusts her. She does him good and not evil all the days of her life.
- Philippians 2:14-15 Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God.
What struck my heart, was that I didn't feel my husbands heart could safely trust me and generally speaking I wasn't harmless yet. As those phrases went into my heart though, they didn't condemn me, instead they became a life goal. I wanted to get to the point where I knew Jonathan's heart safely trusted me and where I felt I was harmless to others. Maybe you could ask yourself the question, can your parents, or children or siblings hearts safely trust you?
The main faults I recognised in myself at the time, were impatience and anger. Words that came out of those two reactions towards Jon and other people caused harm and meant that their hearts couldn't safely trust me. For you it may be different character issues.
I remember an evening when a Pastor from the church stream we're a part of came to our house for tea. When he prayed for Jon and I, he prayed about words that had been spoken that had caused harm, as he prayed I felt the effect of those words lifting.
Proverbs 18: 21 The tongue has the power of life and death.
Our words create, just as God's did at the beginning of time. Our words create death or life. Although we often can't see the effect with our eyes, it is there in the spirit either lifting and encouraging others and ourselves or oppressing and discouraging. (Shelley du Plessis and Suzie Brock have written great articles expanding this if you have time to read them).
Our words come out of what's in our hearts and God really cares about the state of our heart/who we are. When you read His word, you'll find so much of it focuses on the type of person He wants us to be or doesn't want us to be.
God encourages us to use the Bible as a mirror; not to then walk away and forget what we've seen, but to inspire actions to our faith. (James 1: 22-24). Actions of biting our tongue when we want to say something that would harm (James 1:26); actions of listening to those around us, not just with our ears, but with our hearts (James 1:19); to own up where we recognise impatience or anger and apologise and pray that we and the other person would be healed from any effect (James 5:16); to take thoughts captive when our minds start accusing others (2 Corinthians 10:5)...the list could go on and on.
I'm happy to say that after years of journeying together, my husband's heart does now safely trust me, in fact he was only talking about this yesterday! God has dealt with me and I'm not the same person.
Whether these particular Bible verses speak to you personally or not, what I would encourage you to do is to use the Bible as a mirror, as James says; but don't just read and walk away; instead make those things you see life goals. If you read in the Bible that you shouldn't lie, but still do, then make it a life goal to change in that area (Ephesians 4: 25); if you read that you shouldn't gossip, but still do, make that a life goal (2 Corinthians 12:20). You get the idea.
None of us are going to be perfect this side of heaven, but how amazing to allow God's living and active word to have it's way in our lives and to see ourselves bit by bit becoming more like our wonderful Saviour.The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.
View all Life Files by Heather Bellamy