Monday, August 22, 2011

The heart of the matter

This is my Sunday devotional.  Yeah, I know its not Sunday, but I've been holding the littlest one so much lately that I'm lucky to have use of my arms, let alone, the ability to FINALLY have time to write my entry.  So, here it is.

A man's heart reflects the man.  Proverbs 27:19

Somebody once told me (or maybe it was something I heard in church?  Dang 'Mommy Brain') that who you are in the dark is who you really are.  In other words, who you really are, is who you are when you think no one sees you.  Its what lies deep in your heart.

Its also called character.

If you knew you'd NEVER get caught, what would you do?  What would you attempt?

There's a quote by Ralph Waldo Emmerson that goes like this

Sow a thought, reap an action;
Sow an action, reap a habit;
Sow a habit, reap a character;
Sow a character, reap a destiny.

"Sow a thought, reap an action."  It all starts with your heart.  What's in YOUR heart?  If all your thoughts were to suddenly be put on a loudspeaker, would you be ashamed?  Embarrassed?  If so, THINK about THAT.  When you think about something long enough and enough times, its only a matter of time before you follow through.  Ever notice on a woman's post-partum visit questionnaire that it asks if she ever has thoughts of hurting her baby?  If thoughts never led to actions and if they weren't a problem, would they still ask that question?

"Sow an action, reap a habit."  If you've ever talked to a Life Coach or a personal trainer, then I'm sure you've heard that it takes around 21 days to create a new habit and roughly 6 months for it to become a regular part of your lifestyle- give or take.  Every time you make a choice to act on a thought, you're working on creating a habit and affecting your lifestyle.

"Sow a habit, reap a character."  You can adamantly deny that what you do is who you are, but actions speak louder than words, and by this point, your actions are telling the world,"Listen up!  THIS is who I am."  Regardless of whether or not you meant to come off that way, if it walks like a duck, has webbed feet, a duck bill, and feathers- does it really matter if you're trying to call it something else?

"Sow a character, reap a destiny."  From the time our kids (or from the time we ourselves) were little, its always been stressed that in order to make a good life for ourselves, we need to get good grades and continuously work hard because it won't be handed to us on a silver platter.  Everything we were taught- everything we've taught our kids- is that you need to work on who you are now because your future depends on it.

Everyday we sow seeds that contribute to our character.  We water them through our habits, our actions and our thoughts- and it all comes to fruition when God either says,"Well done, good and faithful servant" or "Depart from me- I never knew you".

And it all begins with the heart.

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