It Will Come Out
Tuesday - July 7th Scripture to Read for Today's Devotional: Proverbs 4:23-27
Today's Selection from our Sermon on the Mount Reading Plan: Matthew 5:17-20
Above all else, guard your heart,
for everything you do flows from it.
The water smelled awful. Soon it began to get a bit of a gray tint. No one would drink it. It got so bad that no one would even bathe in it or bathe their dog in it. After reading the opening paragraph to a news article in a small-town newspaper about 30 years ago, I could not put the paper down. The story explained how, over several months, the water supply in a small town began to have an odor and began to look slightly dirty. Town leaders and the local water company looked into the water lines and filtering system but could find no cause.
The water continued to get worse. The stench permeated every home. Finally, local leaders decided to look into the water system from the beginning of the supply to every home's faucets. The search did not take long. The water company hired an outside company, and that company climbed up to the large water tower in town to begin their investigation.
As soon as the inspectors opened an access door to the large storage facility, they noticed the stench. A local homeless person had climbed into the water tower to take a bath. The filter system would have handled the impurities he would have introduced into the tower. But what they discovered had overwhelmed the filter system.
They found the man's corpse. He had gotten trapped in the tower and had drowned. I know--that is disgusting. Once his body was removed, and the system all flushed out and cleaned, the water returned to its clean state. I imagine it took folks some time to feel comfortable with the water again. The problem that people experienced in their homes with the water started way back at the source (the water tower). Proverbs 4:23 tells us that our hearts are like that water tower, and we need to guard against anything that would corrupt our hearts. It says, "Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it."
Our struggles with lust, pride, and greed do not just suddenly get thrust upon us, and we immediately sin. Thoughts and desires around lust, pride, and greed get planted like seeds in our hearts and minds. As we dwell on the wrong things and allow those thoughts to occupy space in our hearts, various forms of pride, greed, and lust will emerge in our relationships, behaviors, words, and attitude. In the town I mentioned, since the water source was corrupt, what came out at the end of the line was corrupt.
When we allow our hearts to be filled with the toxins of arrogant, greedy, immoral thoughts, those things will come out eventually. When they do, we often hurt those closest to us and care about the most. How sad!
But we can take the words in Proverbs 4:23 seriously and begin an intentional, daily house cleaning of our hearts. As you get rid of the wrong thoughts and desires, you have to replace them with something. God's Word is a great resource. We should read it daily. We can take the time to memorize key Scriptures that address the areas of our hearts that are so toxic.
As the Word of God confronts and convicts us of the poisonous stench in our hearts, it is essential to know what God's Word says on the subject. We should then confess the wrong thoughts, attitudes, and desires that we seek to remove from our hearts and minds. After confession, we need to ask God to fill our hearts with His truth, perspective, and purposes.
If someone could open up your head or look into your heart, what would they see right now? Would it be a pretty sight, or would it be full of prideful, greedy, lustful thoughts? Take time to confess your impure thoughts to God. Ask Him to help you maintain a healthy and pure heart as you walk with Him!
What we harbor in our hearts will come out in our lives!