“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. 28 Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.” Matthew 23:27-28
You’ve heard it said, “When you spill the glass, you see what’s inside.” If sweet tea is inside, you see tea, and if it’s sour milk, you surely don’t get sweet tea! 😉 This is so true for each of us. No matter how pretty of a face we paint on, no matter how many smiles we flash, if our character is ugly, when pressures come, (and they will!) ugly is what will come out!
In the moments of stress, it’s never a matter of what we know, who we know, or even what we’ve learned. It’s a matter of what we’ve allowed inside our hearts, what we’ve processed and what we’ve consumed. What is within our hearts is what is brought to the surface when we face hard times.
I love how one author puts it, “When you’re upset, you upset what’s really in you.” -Ann Voskamp
I long for good to flow when I’m spilled out. I don’t like sour milk, never have; yet, when pressures arise, sometimes, sour is all that’s left. It gets messy, and others can see it. I long for purity. I long for less mess, and I’m really working on this; I truly am.
Yet, I have found that it’s not a matter of the mind. You can’t just make yourself act better. ou can’t just decide in your mind, “Ok, today will be different. No more spills. No more sour milk. Today, I shall be on a better course. I shall be better!” No, it’s not just a simple making up of the mind, and all is well. It’s a matter of the heart, and, oh, how that heart can be so stubborn sometimes…
I can determine in my mind that I will not doubt. I will not grow angry. I will not be afraid. I can convince myself that this time will be different. I will be different; however, if I’ve only convinced my mind, and I’ve not dealt with my heart, that heart will rebel. That heart will even revolt. When the heat of the moment comes, and my guard is let down, that heart will adamantly revert back to its comfort zone of fear, doubt, anger, or whatever emotion consumes it at the time.
You see, the heart holds all the wounds, all the pain and all the joy. The heart is full of all the emotion, all the wonder, all fear. When troubles come, it really is the heart that speaks, and this is why it is always a matter of that stubborn heart which determines what will spill out. This is why Jesus longs to rule our hearts. If He can hold our hearts, He can change our mind. He can transform our will. He can even change the world. If He can have our hearts surrendered to His will, He can consume our whole being.
If we want the inside to be purified, to be empty of the mess, to really be as pretty as the outside we paint, we must lend Him our hearts. We must surrender our emotions, our pains, our wounds. We must allow His living waters to wash over our hearts. We must let Him heal us from the inside out, and then, we won’t have to worry when the glass is spilt. There will be no sour to pour. It will only be full of fresh, living water, flowing from His heart to ours, and out to the world.