“Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. “
Matt. 3:8, NIV
“Do the things that show you really have changed your hearts and lives. “
Matt. 3:8, NCV
When we evaluate change, the Biblical definition is crisp and solid. It has everything understood in results (or fruit) and less to with my posturing. Just simple words or emotions aren’t enough when we consider authentic transformation. We can’t relate to feelings, they need actions to become visible. You may feel ‘warm and fuzzy’ when you think about Jesus, and yet somehow that’s not enough. Especially if you’re beating your wife.
Actions do matter. Your actions will define what you believe about God. What you decide to do, will delineate what is really real. Jesus made it clear to his congregation that their definition of repentance needed adjusting.
I struggle with many things, I seem to be a magnet for all things dark and lost. So this proper way of evaluating reality will become a tremendous blessing those of us with ‘mood disorders.’ My feelings are definitely mercurial. I really can’t trust them. So I won’t.
Thomas Merton once said that we’re so motivated to climb the ladder of success that when we finally get to the top we discover it’s leaning against the wrong wall all along! To waste your life to climb one more rung is incredibly tragic.
And yet, down deep, I do understand. I don’t like it, but it truthfully seems oddly rational and real. It seems to be something God would do to lovingly correct us. If I place my bets on what I think God wants, and behold, I discover am completely mistaken. He delights in confusing the proud in heart.
We need a basis on what is real, and important. It may shake us, but the result is being able to realize what is the truth. Our feelings, and idealistic ideas are like a bucket with many holes. What we receive from Him can’t be maintained–it runs out almost as fast as it collects.
We must recalibrate our senses. We need to rearrange many things, and completely reevaluate our momentum and focus. These seem to be abstract and vague ways of making determinations like this, but if we get honest we realize that these things are critical.
“No one can sum up all God is able to accomplish through one solitary life, wholly yielded, adjusted, and obedient to Him.”