Outward Conformity vs a Changed Heart

Sometimes Christians can a have harsh or disdainful view of the world. Instead of speaking the truth in love, we point out everything that is wrong in society without pointing to the One Who is righteous.

 We are rightly grieved by the deteriorating state of mankind. The level of injustice and depravity leaves us stupefied at times. However, when we relay, replay or re-post issues and news, we add our own expletives and insults to the mix. We mock, condemn and stir up strife in opposition to the Word of God (Proverbs 6:16-19).

 Somewhere in the recess of our mind, a scripture speaks to our heart, reminding us about God loving the world, or something along those lines…

 In our rush to be heard, we have a tendency to forget how we once were, before we knew Christ.

 I don’t know about you, but before I accepted Christ as my Savior, I did not have the ability, much less the desire to please God. Sure, I had a conscience and a certain level of discipline, but as far as loving what was righteous (and not simply what was “right”), it wasn’t there.

 It wasn’t there because I had not opened my heart to God. He is the one who brings change. He is the one who breathes new life.

 Don’t misunderstand me. I’m not talking about shrinking back from boldly speaking the truth. I’m not talking about being a people pleaser or maintaining peace at all costs. I’m talking about seeking God’s best for people, where they have a heart to repent and choose Him. Outward conformity to a chosen standard does not make a person right with God. If the unsaved populace did start to act more like Jesus and play nice, it might make our interactions more pleasant, but God would not be pleased. Outward conformity does not equal an inward change:

 The Lord says: “These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is based on merely human rules they have been taught.” Isaiah 29:13 NIV

 We need to extend the same grace and mercy to others that God has given to us. Instead of trying to get people to act like we want them to act we should be the witnesses Jesus has called us to be, one of His “living epistles, read of all men” (2 Corinthians 3:2-3).

 God has given each of us the freedom to choose, whether good or bad, right or wrong, righteous or unrighteous. He desires that we would all choose life, but with free will comes the ability to pick your path. We have to allow people to make their own choices in life. Hopefully our lives will so reflect His love, mercy, compassion and power that it will draw people to Him and they will want the life He so freely offers:

 “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 5:16

Heart of Light

 Mercy, grace and peace to you all.

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