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A little bent

The heart is fooled more than anything else, and is very sinful. Who can know how bad it is? I the Lord look into the heart, and test the mind. (Jeremiah 17:9)

It probably goes without saying that we are seeing some pretty unruly behavior these days. From refusing to mask-up in public to help reduce the spread of this virus to protests turned into violent looting sprees, it all just saddens my heart. Some ask why people act this way, but I'd just have to begin by saying that the heart of man is fooled by many things. There will be those who believe the COVID-19 virus is a 'scam' or 'hoax' - something cooked up by the government, healthcare community, or other 'big brother' entity, so they won't 'buy-into' the plans to slow the spread. Some will say that violence begets violence, thereby justifying their own violent outbursts. We listen to reports - some given with all the wisdom and light man can shed into a circumstance, while others are lacking in any common-sense, but that we find definitely appealing to our 'feelings'. May I just say this one thing - God isn't pleased when we ignore good advice, nor is he excited when we choose to pursue something just because it appeals to some emotion we are experiencing. 

The heart is fooled more than anything else - that says it all. We likely have no idea of how many times we have been duped in this lifetime by our own feelings and emotions unless there has been a negative outcome as a result. If we see the immediate 'bad effect' of our emotional response, such as being locked out of the house because we stormed out in anger without considering to pick up our house keys, we might remember the moments when emotions 'over-rode' good and godly sense. So many times we don't see any negative effect of our emotional actions in the 'present sense', but may begin to see the effect of those choices somewhere down the road, such as when we develop an ulcer from burying our stress and worries. The heart guides our choices more than we might like to admit, but if we depend upon our heart to be our guide, we might just find ourselves 'fooled' into believing the choices we are making are 'justified' or 'right', even when they clearly are not.

To counter-act the 'fickle' state of our heart, being a pretty unreliable guide for our lives, God sends his Holy Spirit into our lives. The more we rely upon his urging in our lives, the closer we will come to making 'less foolish' decisions. He knows the bent of our heart and he acts as a 'counter-balance' to those tendencies to pursue things that stem from things like a lack of trust, envy, bitterness, and anger. he knows what we think upon the most and will work to help us refocus our thoughts toward things that bring wholeness into our lives, but he doesn't 'take over our mind'. We have to yield those unwholesome thoughts to him and then begin to meditate upon the things he tells us will bring peace in place of anger, hope in place of despair, thankfulness in place of comparison and envy. We don't know how to achieve this 'balance' ourselves because of this 'bent heart' we have, so we need to rely upon his presence to help us 'undo' the bend! Just sayin!

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