Do Your Actions Betray You?
Your heart is hidden. No one can see it. The heart, the center of your thoughts, your passions, and your intellect resides somewhere deep within your person—like a buried treasure. All that is dear to you, all that you love, all that you hate—stems from the makeup of your heart. Just as the organ known as the heart pushes blood throughout your body, so too does the center of your passions and intellect drive your thoughts, words, and actions.
The Bible often speaks of the heart, this hidden, yet powerful, part of man (or of God depending upon the context). Regarding the generation of Noah, Moses wrote, “Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” (Genesis 6:5) About the Lord’s heart, Moses also wrote, “And the LORD was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart.” (Genesis 6:6) (emph. mine, jmd)
The word of God reveals the level of influence and control one’s heart has over his actions. Solomon wisely acknowledged the central importance of a person’s heart when he wrote, “Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life.” (Proverbs 4:23) Solomon later echoed the same importance by writing, “A sound heart is life to the body, but envy is rottenness to the bones.” (Proverbs 14:30) Jesus taught that a “good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things.” (Matthew 12:35) Jesus also taught that a man is defiled by what comes from his heart. (Matthew 15:18-19) God’s design for the body is for the mind, the (heart), to be the control center of everything that a person thinks, speaks, and does with his physical body.
Quite often people appear to forget two very important facts regarding the thoughts of their hearts. First, people seem to forget that God searches out and knows every thought and intent of a person’s heart. David wrote, “Would not God search this out? For He knows the secrets of the heart.” (Psalms 44:21) The Hebrew writer wrote, “For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.” (Hebrews 4:12-13)
People also forget that when a person’s heart, his mind, is not set upon spiritual things, his words and his actions will eventually betray him. For instance, if a man (or a woman) continually lusts after the opposite sex, his or her outward words and actions will eventually reveal and make known the desires of his or her heart. Suggestive comments and innuendos can indicate a lustful heart. Viewing pornography is driven by a lust filled heart as well. A person who has a jealous heart, a hate filled heart, a selfish heart, etc. will likewise find his words and actions revealing his heart to the world.
The goal for any Christian should be to keep his heart focused upon God and His will. As the apostle Paul wrote, “If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.” (Colossians 3:1-2) “Keep control over your heart, your desires, and your thoughts,” is the cry for all Christians. Think upon spiritual things. Think upon godly things. Think upon what is righteous and holy. Again, the apostle Paul wrote, “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.” (Philippians 4:8)
Keeping one’s self thinking spiritually requires determination, effort, and practice, especially when leaving a life of sin and worldly ambitions. A godly woman can focus upon the “hidden person of the heart” (1 Peter 3:4) while an ungodly person can have a heart that is “trained in covetous practices” (2 Peter 2:14). A godly minded person can “draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith” (Hebrews 10:22) while an ungodly minded person can shut “up his heart” from the brother in need (1 John 3:17). One person may believe with his heart that God raised Jesus from the dead (Romans 10:9-10) while a Christian could allow an “evil heart of unbelief” to develop and lead him away from God (Hebrews 3:12).
When people learn your secret heart’s desire, will you be ashamed? Do your words and your actions reveal a heart that is worldly and not spiritually minded? Do your words and actions show the world a heart focused upon God’s will and righteousness? Allow me to encourage you to strive to be more spiritually minded today than you were yesterday. Always seek to improve your care, focus, and concern for all that is holy, pure, and godly.