Read Matthew 12:33-37
“Hurt people hurt people,” a wise youth pastor once told me. Upon hearing those words, a lot of the hurtful words that were said to and about me were under a different light. Instead of internalizing them and accepting them as truth, I would think about the person and wonder what more was lying beneath the surface.
I shouldn’t be so quick to point the finger. Growing up, God was trying to get a hold of my heart for a while. Sure I was a pastor’s kid, but there was much more beneath the surface that few people saw. Behind the face you would see on Sunday mornings was a very emotional, angry, sinful and manipulative personality that was struggling to come to grips with life. There would often be a time where my fuse would quickly run out and I would lash out to the people I cared most about. Often the words that I said and the actions that I did revealed a much deeper issue.
My character was in shambles.
On a sign at the outdoor basketball courts at the high school I attended was the phrase, “Character is who you are when no one is watching.” If I wasn’t being watched or under a microscope, I was a completely different person and my words portrayed that.
Would you be so honest to admit that you are in a similar situation? When you think about who you claim to be and who you are week to week…do they match? Are the words that you use a reflection of the God you claim to serve? No one likes hypocritical people, but, as sinners, you could say that we all are hypocritical people. Nick Cleveland once said, “It’s okay not to be okay but it’s not okay to stay that way.” Be self-aware enough to know where you need to grow and be diligent enough to make that change happen.
The words that you use are a reflection, not only of the God that you claim to serve, but also of the status of your heart. You may be able to scam some people into thinking that you are pursuing a fully devoted life but your heart will rot away and eventually give you away.
Check your heart. When our heart’s in the right spot, our character begins to improve and we are living our best life in Christ!