On Heart Thoughts

Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!

Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand.

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

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. The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.
Philippians 4:4-9
And there we have it. A formula to follow to guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Oh if it were simply that easy to have such a strong discipline set as a guard over our minds 24/7.
One of the catchphrases I grew up with courtesy of my mother was this:
What you think is between you and God. What you let come out of your mouth affects more than just you.
Out of all the fruits of the Spirit, I think perhaps it safe to say that, most of the time, gentleness and self control are the two hardest to put into practice. We're fallen human beings. We react. We speak without thinking. Let me amend...
I speak without thinking. I give voice to negativity more than I care to admit.
The good man produces what is good and honorable and moral out of the good treasure [stored] in his heart; and the evil man produces what is wicked and depraved out of the evil [in his heart]; for his mouth speaks from the overflow of his heart.
Luke 6:45
Been thinking about this a lot lately. Repenting of a lot of bitterness rooted deep in my heart, revealed by subtle digs or quips to which my sister replies with a roll of her eyes, "Bitter, party of one." And it's beginning to sting more.
Apathy is too easy a trap to fall into. And it starts in the heart.
It starts with our thoughts.
When we let slide what we know is true and right and unwittingly, or wittingly, water those little seeds of ugly bitterness born out of weakness where, instead of taking it to the Cross, to Jesus' feet, we let those great or small annoyances, disappointments, pain eat at us, slowly but surely obscuring the Light of Truth dwelling within us. We don't with prayer and supplication, make our requests known to God. We keep these requests and needs or wants close, compartmentalized away from the All Consuming All Powerful God of the universe.
It's so simple, really. But because we over-complicate things, it's that difficult to wrap our minds around such truth as the Scriptures above. Both the words of Paul, and the words of Jesus in red. All truth colored with the saving, scarlet blood of the Lamb that was slain for all our sins for all time. And yet we...I...can read these words multiple times a year, for years. Since childhood. There was a Hide 'Em In Your Heart song on the verses from Philippians for pete's sake and to this day I still sing it when I'm trying to recall the verses!
And yet it is an entirely different thing to actually put it into practice.
Let life make you better, not bitter.
Life is not in our control. Many, many things in life are not "fair" by our base human standards. Life hurts. But, at least for me, I'm on a quest to make the above cliche/quip manifest itself as true in my life, starting with the heart, asking the Lord ever faithful and just to forgive with Jesus sitting at His right hand to remove the layers of bitterness, apathy, pride in my heart. For His glory first and foremost--and my ultimate good.
Meghan M. Gorecki
Meghan M. Gorecki

Words, history, and grace color my days here in The Burgh where I seek out the perfect coffee and red lipstick.