She was looking forward to spending time with her mom. But then again, she wasn’t. She said her mom gets mean when she is anxious or afraid. Her mom cloaks the mean words with sarcasm and humor. She pretends she’s joking. As if she doesn’t mean the words she’s saying. But she does.
And my coworker has been on the receiving end of her mother’s harmful words more times than she cares to remember. She wants to avoid another one of those situations. She loves her mom, but she doesn’t appreciate being the target of overly harsh words.
She said she had talked to her mom about it. My coworker, the unbeliever, the one who never reads a Bible, said that her mom’s problem stemmed from her heart. Because, she said, you say what is in your heart. And it’s true. She is so right.
But, I wonder, how did she know that to be true? How did she learn it if she hasn’t read the Bible? I don’t know.
For whatever is in your heart determines what you say. Matthew 12:34
Then I think about my words. My thoughts. What is in my heart that I have tried to hide? Oh. It’s become a little clearer to me this week. I’ve been reading John Bevere’s book, “Honor Rewards”. Every chapter has convicted me. Not only the words that come out of my mouth need to honor others, but my thoughts do, as well. Oh. I know that. But sometimes. Sometimes, I can’t get past my thoughts turning vindictive. I realize those thoughts, or even words, are more harmful to me. They’re harming my soul’s eternity.
I know that God knows my every thought. He knows my heart. He knows if I really mean those mean words I say. He knows the unkind thoughts I think. I realize I have much work to do to clean up my heart.
I read that when we honor others, God will reward us. I found that to be true this week. One day at lunch, I read one of the chapters in the book. I felt convicted about my thoughts of the people in authority over me. I confessed my sin. As I walked back into work, my step had a little spring in it. I felt that my load had been lightened. I had been unaware of how much my thoughts about others was affecting my mood.
I had been frustrated about a work situation, and I would have these imaginary conversations about it. Doesn’t everyone? Sometimes in these imaginings, I would confront the person. Other times, I would talk about them to others. In my conviction, I realized that I should change my attitude and let things work out by themselves. I’m trusting God to let me know when or if the time is right for a face-to-face conversation.
Later that afternoon, I was sitting at my desk when my manager approached me. He asked me to do the thing I had been stewing about. The thing I had been hoping he would ask me to do. He asked. Wow. What a little repentance will do for a person. It will open your heart and allow God to give the blessings he has been withholding.
I’ve learned. Obedience is always the key to heavenly rewards. My reward that day was nothing to write home about. But it sure did open my eyes to what I could be missing out on if I am not faithfully guarding my thoughts and words. God will reward an obedient heart.