What flows from your heart?

We ought to do good to others as simply as a horse runs, or a bee makes honey, or a vine bears grapes season after season without thinking of the grapes it has borne. (Marcus Aurelius)

What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone? Suppose you see a brother or sister who has no food or clothing, and you say, “Good-bye and have a good day; stay warm and eat well”—but then you don’t give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do? So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless. Now someone may argue, “Some people have faith; others have good deeds.” But I say, “How can you show me your faith if you don’t have good deeds? I will show you my faith by my good deeds.” (James 2:14-18)

Do good - for faith is manifested in the goodness produced without thinking - all because the heart is so in touch with God that goodness just flows from it. Actions speak louder than words, but actions alone are not enough. The spirit bears witness to the actions as much as the actions bear witness to the condition of the heart! God expects us to keep our heart in the very best of condition so that goodness is the natural outflow.

You see those little reminders on bumper stickers from time to time that challenge us to practice 'random acts of kindness'. You hear of the person at the coffee shop paying for the person's order behind them, or the customer adding a hundred-dollar tip to the five-dollar coffee and pie they enjoyed. Yes, these are perhaps 'random acts of kindness', but could it be that someone is so in tune with the goodness of God that their heart just overflows with that goodness to others? Perhaps, but not always. It is possible to 'practice random acts' such as these without ever knowing or trusting in God.

It may come as a surprise to some that good deeds don't always mean someone has said 'yes' to Jesus. It just means they chose to think of someone other than themselves for a moment. When God is at the center of one's life, ALL that flows from that life is bathed in God's goodness. Mercy and kindness are byproducts of having experienced God's grace. The heart is transformed and what flows from the heart is genuine and consistent. I see many a Christian beating themselves up because they don't feel they are living as well as God wants them to. Just know this - live for God, not for man. What flows from that is bound to be good. Just sayin!


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