Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Difficult People Expose Our Own Hearts


[36] One of the Pharisees asked him to eat with him, and he went into the Pharisee's house and reclined at the table. [37] And behold, a woman of the city, who was a sinner, when she learned that he was reclining at table in the Pharisee's house, brought an alabaster flask of ointment, [38] and standing behind him at his feet, weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head and kissed his feet and anointed them with the ointment. [39] Now when the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would have known who and what sort of woman this is who is touching him, for she is a sinner.”(Luke 7:36-39 ESV)
Simon’s attitude to this woman exposes his heart. It’s always like that. Problem people, difficult people, different people have a habit of exposing our hearts. Behavior always comes from the desires of the heart—Jesus says as much in the previous chapter (Luke 6:43–45). When a fellow ministry leader and I faced a difficult situation, he said, “What I find most disappointing is what it has revealed about my own heart. It’s shown me again that I still need people’s approval, because I fear them more than I fear God.” When someone is difficult, disappointing, or disrespectful, your reaction reveals your own heart. If you react with anger or bitterness, then your “need” for control or respect or success is exposed. If you’re trusting God’s sovereignty rather than your own abilities, and if you’re concerned for God’s glory rather than your own reputation, then it will be a different story. When you discover that someone in your church has fallen into sin, your own heart will be exposed. You may discover grace in your heart from God. But you may also discover pride and self-righteousness.

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