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Conformity is Not Living

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Kingdom Living #3

This I know, no doubt, my parents taught me how to behave. They gave me boundaries. They gave me rules to follow. They taught me that actions have consequences. That was my life – rules, actions, consequences. I changed my behavior continually in order to get the consequences I desired. Experience taught me that breaking the rules gets undesirable consequences. It taught me if you make bad decisions you’ll get bad consequences. That is life in this unfair and cruel world! Behavior IS directly connected to consequences. As a teenager I learned how to play the game, I learned how to get by, I learned how to appease my parents and run with my friends. What a life! Conform to my parents rules and conform to my peer’s expectations! I was a conforming non-conformist.

How about you? You learn these things, too? Do you know now that the above is not a life nor is it living? The world’s approval for your conformity is not life. Read this simple and basic truth from God: Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life. (Proverbs 4:23) Your heart is the core of your life! If the heart is connected to this world you possess death. If the heart is connected to God you possess life.

The truth is that while we were growing up no one taught us about our heart. We weren’t taught how to protect, guard, or shape our heart. Unaware our heart became defiled. Read what Jesus stated:”For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander. These are what defile a person.” (Matthew 15:19-20a) Defiled hearts is a universal condition.

So, how does one purify their heart of its defilement? Can we even change our hearts? Yes, our heart can be made clean and our hearts can be changed! This is the best news possible. But, there are a few powerful truths we need to accept.

The heart is spiritual. It is a significant part of our true self. It along with our soul/spirit and mind is eternal. Some have taught that the soul, mind and spirit of a person make up the heart. If one changes their mind and their heart, that change has the power to impact eternity. What a powerful truth!

Our mind and heart is connected to our physical bodies. As Jesus taught, our bodies manifest the contents of our mind and heart. Specifically, the heart is tied to our eyes and ears. “Render the hearts of this people insensitive, Their ears dull, And their eyes dim, Otherwise they might see with their eyes, Hear with their ears, Understand with their hearts, And return and be healed.” (Isaiah 6:10) Fact: our mind and heart are fed what our ears hear and our eyes see. Have you ever heard the cliché, “Garbage in, garbage out?” Jesus said it this way, “But the things that proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and those defile the man.” (Matthew 15:18)

Here is the over simplified cycle: In thru the eyes and ears; pondered upon by the mind; made emotionally acceptable by the heart; out thru the mouth, hands, and feet. Change is possible because what occurs in the cycle can be changed with the presence of a Divine ruler; Christ abiding within us.  More next time …

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