Valentines Day just passed us by. It is easy to love those that are kind to us, but how are we at loving those who are cruel to us. How do we love a bully? It takes a conscious effort to be able to treat someone kindly that has hurt us deeply. When we can learn to be kind to a person that has been cruel to ourselves, family, or friends, and love that person without requiring an apology, then we know we are attacking the heart. See, this kind of love is not normal. This is completely outrageous. We are wiping the slate clean, “deleting the post”, starting over, not for ourselves, but to please God. That’s it. We know that God has forgiven our wickedness, so why can’t we forgive others their sins? This is such a rewarding love. We think we do this all the time, but lets wait for the next person to walk into a room that upon sight, we quickly attempt to run away from? What if the Lord led you to walk right up to them and bless them? Would you do that for Jesus?
We require payment for heartaches. We take to court, punish, divorce, beat, kill for heartaches. We have since the beginning of time when Abel gave Cain a “heart ache” because God liked his gifts better than Cains. The price? Cain killed Abel over it. The world’s first murder.
What does God say about hearts? “A heart that hatches evil plots” is one of six things God hates (Prov 6:18) In Matthew, Jesus described the Pharisees as “talking a good line, but not living it” and “they don’t take it into their hearts and live it out in their behavior” (Matt 23:1-3). Jesus described them as “spit and polish veneer”. On the outside, the Pharisee looked shiny, with their religious robes, their elite speeches. In this day and time they would probably have had hundreds of thousands of Instagram followers and their own TV reality show, but Jesus reminds us that once the polish wears off, these Pharisees were not really shiny at all. They were dull, and the truth of Gods Word was not real in their lives, just as the outside polish of the shoe was just a quick facade to cover their dark hearts.
The heart isn’t always as it seems. Our hearts are attacked daily and we must guard them from falling into temptation, hating, despising others, refusing to love, and shutting others out. Who in your life has hurt you so badly that you cannot dare think to love? What if God used you to love that person when they least deserved it so that you could paint a personal picture of “God’s grace”. It is time we stop hiding behind the boxes of chocolate, crawl out from under the bench, and run towards forgiveness. Open your heart up to an attack, and do it “just for Jesus”. Say Lord, I may not want to forgive, but I’m going to love this person (Fill in the blank______) just for you. You may be missing an opportunity that would be life-changing because of your failure to forget. Do it for Jesus. Attack the heart that is stubborn and unforgiving. Let it be open to love and always, always forgive. You know the Lord doesnt want to just be gracious, he longs to be gracious towards us. We should also long to be gracious to others. #HeartAttack