Heart Surgery in Baby Steps.

As anyone who has read my blog recently knows, I’ve been trying to keep to daily updates since I went through the trouble of changing the look here. You will also notice that I only managed to get my “online reading” segment up and running yesterday.

There’s a very simple reason, my job suddenly got crazy busy, with staff members calling in to say they couldn’t be in, me having to fill the shift here while simultaneously being on the airfield to pick up sandwiches that were already 3 days late (as well as being a major seller that we were then completely out of). By the time close came at midnight, I had no energy to do the books, compile the cashflow for the day, tabulate the movie rentals (which are not computerized here), let alone write another blog entry.

By 12 last evening, I was very rude, I was running in 6 different directions at once, and was getting a little sick of people coming in to ask if they could by .43 cents of jelly candy (which they wanted to select) while they had a lineup of people behind them a mile long, and drunk people wanting to return half used containers of milk in exchange for some mix for their drinks, all the while trying to keep people from going through the recently arrived sub sandwich boxes that had yet to be inventoried and priced to find their favorite snack.

This is where I came face to face with my sin. As with most people, I can coast along believing I’m a good person as long as I am not stressed, and when I am stressed, I excuse my bad behavior, as if the foul language coming from my own mouth was wholly because of someone else rather than the simple fact that I don’t value God enough to refrain from using his name as an expletive when angered.

Jesus says that it is not what comes into us that defiles us, but rather what comes out, because those things that come out of us (both in action and in speaking) come from the heart (Matthew 15:18-19). I don’t think he’s just saying that I am defiled because I actually said the words, but because my heart is wicked. The stress of the moment simply stripped away all the veneer of piety and humility and exposed for all to see that I am very definitely sinful.

The afternoon after, I take solace in the fact that God forgives those who repent, and that the righteousness that saves is in Christ, not in me. That I want to repent shows that Jesus is still working in me, working to perfect me. That justification is in Christ’s imputed righteousness, not in me somehow deserving to be saved,  gives me hope that the thoughts of my heart last night did not turn me away from Christ, and again damn me to a hell I so richly deserve.

Jesus died to take sins away so that we could love him and seek His glory. He did not wait for us to love him before he wooed us to him, and continues to. We are not saved because our hearts are in the right place, we are saved so that Christ can put our hearts into the right place.

Last night shows that that heart surgery is not complete in me.

Thanks for listening.

Author: Stephen Dawe

Steve is a part-time vocational elder Calvary Baptist Church, St. John's as well as a full-time student at Memorial University of Newfoundland, in the Religious Studies Department.