We who preach and write, do so in a manner different from which the Scriptures have been written. We write while we make progress. We learn something new every day. We speak as we still knock for understanding...If anyone criticizes me when I have said what is right, he does me an injustice. But I would be more angry with the one who praises me and takes what I have written for Gospel truth than I would be with the one who criticizes me unfairly. -Augustine

A Selfish Heart, Part 2

Do you have a selfish heart?

In Luke 15, the brother of the prodigal son goes through a trial that reveals the hidden sins of his heart. He thinks about the many years he had worked hard and never disobeyed. He essentially says, “You never gave me even a goat, but you kill the fattened calf for him!”

You see, a selfish heart distorts our view of others and exaggerates their offenses. The prodigal’s brother says, “‘But when this son of yours came, who has devoured your property with prostitutes, you killed the fattened calf for him!'” There’s the exaggeration. There is nothing in the scripture that suggests that the prodigal brother visited prostitutes.

Do you see how bitterness and anger take residence in our selfish hearts? Our ability to see others through God’s eyes is clouded, and reality becomes distorted. We become jealous and envious, and, like the older brother, we act out in anger. A pure heart sees God, and sees others through the filter of his forgiveness.

When we have a selfish heart we think the worst of people. When we have a pure heart, we see others the way God sees them. Are you struggling with anger? Unable to forgive? These issues are always a reflection of our relationship or lack of relationship with our heavenly Father.

It is time to get back on our knees and back in the Word. How? Read Psalm 51 and I think you will find that the answer begins with the simple prayer, “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.”

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