While I was waiting in line for the cashier to pay for my items, I saw a beautiful chap-stick hanging on the side of the isle. I looked closer to see the flavor and I immediately realized that it was an orange flavor. I mean, I love orange and anything orange color steals my heart instantly.
So, I picked it up but didn’t want to put it in my shopping cart thinking that it would fall between the holes of the shopping cart. So, I held it on my hand until my turn.
I finished paying for my stuff and began heading to my car. When I began loading my shopping bags, I noticed that I was still holding the chap-stick. I didn’t give it to the cashier to charge me. I completely forgot about it.
What do you think the first thing that came to my mind? Well, if you have ever been in the same situation, you should know what I thought first.
I was kind of happy that I went out without paying for something that costs money. “Hooray, I took something for free.” And I immediately thought, “No, that is not right.” But I said to myself, “Duh, this is a billion dollar company. This is a two dollar worth of chap-stick. They won’t declare for bankruptcy just because I took one chap-stick, will they?”
I reasoned out to justify my wrong decision. So, I loaded my stuff and got into my car but couldn’t start my car. My inside began to hurt. I said loudly, “I can’t take what I didn’t pay for.”
So, I went back to the shop. My dear, nobody knew what was going on. When I went in, already the cashier’s line was backed up. People were buying tons of stuff and I had to stand all the way down, at the end of the line. Some people were looking at me as if to say, “What are you doing here without buying anything.”
I said to myself, “This is the devil, and devil listen up! I am going to stand here and pay for this stupid chap-stick while you stand here and watch.”
I comforted myself saying, “Nobody may know what you’re doing but you have a God who sees everything.”
I know, when you get to this point, you may say, “Amen!” But believe me, I was not rejoicing when I did it. I was very, very sad from the inside because I learned the darkest deep seated sin in my heart.
I was sad to know that I was ready to take something which didn’t belong to me. I was ready to steal.
After I got into my car, I said to God, “LORD, now I know that I am a thief. Now I know that if all the conditions are set for me to steal, I won’t back out. Oh, LORD, if it was not for Your Spirit, I would have stolen that chap-stick and stood the following week to preach to others to be holy. Oh, LORD, forgive me for my heart. You are the only One who sees my heart. Nobody else! You are the only One who knows me. You saw this mischievous heart in me now. Please forgive me.”
I can’t tell you how that incident changed my perspective about me and the Holy Spirit who never leaves and forsakes me. Yes, He is faithful. Whenever I cling to Him, He never hands me over to my sinful desires and wills.
My Berhan whenever he disciplines our kids, he frequently says this: “My issue is not with what had already happened but with your heart condition. What were you thinking when you chose to do such a thing? What was your train of thought? Unless we deal with it at your heart, you sure will do it again.”
How true that is! The Bible says, “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” Proverbs 4:23
Yes, our spiritual focus should be in shaping our hearts. And meditation of the Word of God is an excellent way to tune our hearts with the Spirit of God so that it will rhyme with the Word of God.
David said, “I have hidden your word in my hear that I might not sin against you.” Psalm 119:11
My message for today is then this: Don’t waste your time trying to stop that long standing destructive addiction, habit or behavior. Rather work on gardening your heart. Water it with prayer and fertilize it with meditation of the Word. Make a fence around your heart so that nobody walks all over it. How? By cultivating authentic and intimate relationship with others and giving them a right to speak the truth into your life! Then before you know it, you shall harvest righteousness in bounty. ///