What does a changed heart look like?

Monday July 15, 2013

There’s something appealing about the law.

It’s written out. It’s black and white.

It has boundaries; there’s no gray area.

It’s tangible, demonstrable. We see people following it and we can follow it ourselves.

We can set goals and discipline ourselves and strive toward checking off the boxes.

Then we can be proud of ourselves and others can, too. We can bask in their praise.

But is that a description of a changed heart?

As admirable and God-given as the law is, though, it can lead to a broken system of lists and checks and duties and obligations. One that is all of us and devoid of Him.

Nevertheless, I’m thankful for God’s law, for it leads me to Him. I can’t do it on my own. Oh, I can for a while, but it eventually leads to a full calendar and the obligation to post and no breathing room and most of all, no time for the One who wants to spend time with me.

That precious time spent with Him ultimately leads to acts of love and law-keeping that grow simply out of my love for Him, my desire to share Him with those around me.

So I ask myself, once again, today:

What am I doing for others to see?

What am I doing for approval?

What am I doing just for Him?

And true circumcision is not merely obeying the letter of the law; rather, it is a change of heart produced by God’s Spirit. And a person with a changed heart seeks praise from God, not from people. (Romans 2:29)

I'm linking up with Laura and Michelle today.
Photo credit


Pamela said...

Love how you reminded us that the natural result of spending time with God is "doing" for others. I'll examine my day's activities to see just why I am "doing."

Lisa notes... said...

I have such a love/hate relationship with "law". Part of me wishes I could have even more and clearer laws to follow so I can satisfactorily check them off and feel good about it, but another part of me is thankful that Jesus fulfilled the law for me and that now I'm under the law of love. Yet even in that, I still need to be reminded of the very thing you're saying: why am I doing what I'm doing? What's my motive: out of love for Him or for approval of others? Thanks for the heart check, Laura.

Beth said...

I struggle with this balance too, Laura Lee--the balance between doing and being in my spiritual journey. I haven't quite figured it out yet, but I'm trying and I think your questions really bring perspective and wisdom to that pursuit. Thanks for reminding us of God's bigness as well as His big love for us, my friend! Very encouraging!

Linda Stoll said...

mmm ... in the end, it's all about the state of our heart. He alone knows what motivates us to do what we do, and if I'm motivated out of fear or punishment rather than love, it's all chaff flying in the wind ...

thanks, Laura Lee, for penning your heart ...

Heather said...

So true,Laura! It's a balance that is required,but not seen in very many Christians. I am a law lover naturally. I love rules. I love boundaries. I have to be careful not to get caught up in the trap of being legalistic.

Faith said...

I needed some of these reminders today!! I like the questions you posed......am working on those!! Thanks for writing!! God bless!

Linda Tang said...

Love this reminder that our walk is not about following the letter of the law but about the condition of our hearts....thank you for this!

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