“For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee.” – Proverbs 23:7 KJV
In popular culture, women are being enticed into displaying petty and manipulative behavior. The ‘side-eye’ is common, in jest and in reality. Hard-heartedness is considered preferable to being kind or sweet. Even women of the church sometimes pride themselves on their ability to “go there if they need to”. For many, they need to know that their base level is there as a fall-back just in case their nice side does not protect or get them what they want.
Why is it so difficult to cultivate a gracious spirit? Overall, I see that as people we are losing our ability to be civil and Christ-like in our dealings with each other. We do not want to be taken advantage of or used, so we are constantly on the defense. In our hard world, it can feel like a secret armament of sass, cuss words, and a catty nature are necessary. But if that is hiding in your heart, what space is there for the virtues of God?
It has taken me many years to calm my thoughts and soften my heart. From the line at the supermarket, to driving down the highway, to speaking to telemarketers on the phone, I have found that a softer heart can give you the calm to change a situation. Instead of escalating a conflict, you bring peace to others. A heart for God gives you a heart for people, and that heart can be a light to others.
How did I get there? How do YOU get there? Prayer. Prayer keeps you in touch with God. When I remember that God is ever present, I consider whether or not I am showing myself worthy of his company. When I am alone driving in my car I imagine that Jesus is riding with me. When I am out shopping, I think of myself being a vessel of the Holy Spirit. My mindfulness of God shapes my perspective and gives me the strength and wisdom to handle any situation in grace and in love. Entrust your thoughts and your heart to God and allow him to use you to as an example for others!
By Daina Troy
- How do you keep your thoughts in line with your faith?
- What do you do to comfort yourself when you have been wronged?
- What ‘defenses’ can you let go of in order to soften your heart toward others?
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. – Philippians 4:8 KJV