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July 27, 2011 / Daniel

The Overflow of the Heart

Sigmund Freud believed that our unconscious thoughts would inevitably rise to the surface.  However, long before Freud, there was Jesus.

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus challenges his disciples to have a better righteousness.  According to Matthew, “righteousness” is doing what’s right for the right reasons.

Therefore, if you want to change your behavior, you must experience a change of heart.   Right behavior is the product of right thinking.   If you deal with your heart issues, you will fix your behavioral issues.    If you try to correct your bad behavior, but ignore the heart issues, then you will never fix the problem.   Don’t just manage the symptoms.   Cure the disease.   Managing the symptoms while ignoring the disease is like giving a cancer patient a band-aid.  It’s not going to be very effective in the long run.

A change of heart must take place.  The mind must be renewed.  Jesus tells the Pharisees,

“Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit. You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.  A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him” (Matthew 12:33-35).

Later Jesus says,

“Don’t you see that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and then out of the body?  But the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart, and these defile them.  For out of the heart come evil thoughts—murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander.  These are what defile a person; but eating with unwashed hands does not defile them.” (Matthew 15:17-20).

When Jesus begins his ministry in Matthew 4, he announces, “Repent, the kingdom of heaven is near” (4:17).   God’s sovereign rule is invading this broken world.  King Jesus wants to rule over your heart.  His kingdom starts in the hearts of his subjects.

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