We are taught to believe our hearts are basically good, but God says they are basically bad, and He is the leading authority on the subject. Our hearts are compulsive liars, always at the loom fabricating fairy tales and false information. One of the greatest temptations we face in life is naively believing the lies our own hearts whisper to us; lies not about others but lies about ourselves.
Knowing just how conniving and convincing our heart could be, God unlocked two windows in His word through which we could look and see the unflattering truths our hearts would rather keep secret. These two windows are our words and our wallets. Allow me to explain.
Our words provide an open window to look in and see the condition of our heart.
Matthew 12: 34-35
You brood of vipers! How can you speak good, when you are evil?
For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.
The good person out of his good treasure brings forth good,
and the evil person out of his evil treasure brings forth evil.
According to Jesus what comes out is a product of what’s within. It is easy to convince ourselves that we are faithful followers of Jesus, but sometimes our words speak louder than our actions. What comes out of our mouth is an unmistakable betrayal of what is in our heart. How often have we said something like, “I didn’t mean to say that,” when we should have said, “I didn’t mean to say that out loud”?
God lets us in on this little secret; if you want to know the truth about your own heart, look through the window of your words. A dirty mouth is the fruit of a dirty heart. Sweet water can’t come from a bitter well, nor bitter water from a sweet spring. What comes out of the fountain is only the product of what’s in the fountain.
At this point many of us may be quick to defend ourselves and say, “Well I don’t talk ‘dirty’ so that must mean I’m clean,” but we must be careful to examine the whole case laid before us. It’s not just how we talk that matters, it’s what we talk about. It’s very possible to have a clean mouth and still have a cluttered heart. We talk about what we cherish. If the majority of our conversational life is about everything and anything but Jesus and His kingdom, then the view from the outside window tells us the inside is cluttered and needs to be cleaned. By nature, we are hoarders. God doesn’t just want an organized mess, He wants a decluttered house.
Our hearts may lie but our lips always tell the truth. Even our lies tell the truth about our heart.
Our wallets provide an open window to look in and see the disposition of our heart.
Matthew 6: 21
For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
It seems to me, Jesus taught that our wallets, rather than our eyes, are the windows to our soul. If the location of our treasure determines the location of our heart, then it is safe to also say that wherever our heart is pointing is where our treasure will be placed. Few things can pull the curtain back on our inner life better than the way we use the money God has entrusted to us. Our bank statements give a more honest testimony about what we believe than our confession does.
The belief that this world is transient, but Christ’s kingdom is permanent, the conviction that Christ is better than everything else, the assurance that God will meet my needs according to His riches in glory are all key components of the Christian faith. It is one thing to recite a confession as an affirmation of these truths; it is another thing to give sacrificially as a confirmation we believe these truths. Talk is cheap, but sacrifice is not. It’s easy to sing, Oh How I Love Jesus with our lips while our hearts are singing, In It For the Money.
Our hearts lie, but the paper trail doesn’t. My question to you is not whether you believe in the Kingdom. My question is, would your accountant be convinced you believe in the coming King and His coming Kingdom? How we manage what we have been entrusted with is the needle on our inward compass, and it always points not just to where our treasure is but to where our heart is also.
Often, God’s most obvious acts of kindness are His most overlooked overtures of grace. One of the surest evidences of God’s love for us is His unending pursuit of our holiness, for without holiness no man can see Him. Though it is often unwelcome, unwanted, and unappreciated, conviction of sin is an act of compassion. God’s call to repent is always a call to return. It is an instruction to turn from the sin that leaves us thirsty and an invitation to return to the only well where water can be found.
It is mercy that opens ours eyes to see the corruption of our own soul. It is grace that calls us to come to Christ for cleansing. Only God has the power to open our blind eyes and expose what He’s seen all along. It is a great kindness when He opens the bolted windows and shines the light of His word into the dark and forbidden corners of our heart. It is a great blessing when He enables us to see the lies we have been hiding from ourselves. He doesn’t just open the window to let the truth out, He opens the window to let the Breeze in. I encourage you, don’t just acknowledge the truth; ask the Spirit to blow through and change your reality.
-Pastor Benjamin Webb