Yesterday, the sermon in church was about looking inward, at the state of your heart. Proverbs 4:23 says:
"Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life."
We have two kinds of hearts: our physical, and our spiritual hearts. Our spiritual heart is where everything comes from. The things we say, the things we do, the things we think, etc.
One of the ways we can monitor our hearts is to check for symptoms of heart disease (this is all spiritual hearts, of course). Reading through Matthew 15: 1-20 gives a pretty good idea of what spiritual heart disease is. Jesus is talking to the pharisees and saying that "these people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me". Then later he says: "Don't you see that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and then out of the body? But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these make a man 'unclean.' For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander..."
So the Pharisees basically were all about outward acts of righteousness; doing things to look good in the eyes of men. I tried to think to myself if there were times when I did this, and I think the answer to that could be yes. If I'm ever doing anything with thoughts of "how good will this make me look", instead of doing it because I love God, then my heart isn't right.
Two of the symptoms of heart disease are: 1. We fake devotion to God, and 2. Ocassionally, we say and do things that dishonor God. I think it's pretty easy for almost anyone to fake spirituality, or a devotion to God. When life is going good, and everyone is being nice to you, and you're healthy and happy, isn't it a lot easier to love your neighbor, and to serve others, and even to be pleased with and love God? It's those times when things aren't great, maybe when someone has said something to upset you or that makes you angry, or when you're not feeling well that your true heart shows through. The times when you get sick, or a loved one gets sick, that you get upset with God. I can't count how many times, in a moment of anger, that I've said things that I regretted, or certainly shouldn't have said. When my heart is unguarded, am I still showing Christlike love to others? That's when it counts--that's when you just can't fake it. I know that's something I need to work on, and I also am so thankful for Jesus that He paid for my sins, and the sins of my heart.