How’s Your Heart?

I remember an annual physical a few years ago in which it was found that my cholesterol was 224. My doctor wanted me to start taking a statin; I resisted, pointing to all my other health indicators and insisting I was fine. We agreed that I’d get a heart scan to check for calcium deposits and let those results dictate whether or not I would begin taking a statin. I was proud to learn I had 0% calcium deposits. I had a clean heart.

I returned home and spent days strutting around the house and ignoring my wife whenever she called into question my pride. I told her a man with a clean heart could not be guilty of much.

That was before I read Ecclesiastes 7:20, which says “There is not a righteous man on earth who does what is right and never sins.” Wow, humbling, resetting, grounding. I’ve read this verse again and again since in an effort to keep my head straight and my heart well-meaning.

In other words, I’ve stopped bragging that I have a clean heart.

As I write this I also remember a pastor who taught about the wrongheaded Christian who compares him/herself to fellow Christians for the sake of ranking oneself above others and finding comfort in the thought of being a “better” Christian. He ended his lesson making the point we are all broken and sullied by sin; none are better than the other. He then reminded us it isn’t our job to judge or save others. That job belongs to Jesus. Our jobs are simple and well defined – to love one another and introduce the lost to Him. He ended the lesson with a statement he imagined that Jesus might have told his disciples; “You catch ‘em, I’ll clean ‘em.”

That spoke very loudly to me. I hope it does to you today as well.

 

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I am a depraved, morally bankrupt wretched sinner through and through. I’ve attended church sporadically most of my life, haven’t spent a minute in seminary and only recently gave the Bible more than a cursory review. I’ve attended exactly one theology class and I dropped out of that. However, in spite of my moral infidelity, I’ve come to be filled with the Holy Spirit. I’ve learned my salvation isn’t the result of what I do, but rather what Jesus has done on my behalf. I didn’t find the Holy Spirit, He found me. And in our relationship I have invited Him to change me, to use me for His purpose, to conquer my will with His own. Praise the Lord, for even an unworthy, chronic sinner like me can experience and give testimony to His glory!
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