This past week another tragedy has befallen our country. A lone gunman selectively positioned in a window on the 32nd floor of a hotel room in Las Vegas rained down volley after volley of machine gun fire killing and wounding innocent people who were enjoying an open air country music concert. All Americans are once again asking why. How can something like this happen (again)? Answers will be slow to come and some may never surface. Officials are at a loss but searching, trying to uncover the motive of this man. One thing is certain his actions were evil.

When we base our questions on the idea that a human’s heart is basically good we will have struggles in these situations. However, if we use a biblical truth based on the idea that the human heart is basically depraved, we will still be overwhelmed with grief at these massacres but we will have a platform on which to gain understanding and strength moving forward. Simply put you can’t know the heart of someone else.

To be blunt, you cannot know your own heart. So don't waste time trying to judge your heart, or the hearts of others. It's a call that you simply aren't equipped to make. You can't see your heart as it really is. “The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is?” (Jeremiah 17:9)

People may try to tell you what your motives are, but that's something they have no way of knowing. It's not their call to make. It's something only God can know. You can't read someone else's heart. In the story of David and Goliath, when David approached the battlefield, his brother became angry and said...”I know how conceited you are and how wicked your heart is; you came down only to watch the battle.” (1 Samuel 17:28)

David's brother had it all wrong. David was a man after God's own heart, according to God. David's heart was right; David's brother was wrong. Your heart will play tricks on you. Sometimes your heart will accuse you; sometimes your heart will excuse you. The big problem with this issue is you can't count on your heart being accurate. That's because it has the capacity to be deceptive above all things.

All you can do is offer yourself to God, saying, “Lord, I don't always know the state of my heart. It seems to be a mixture of good thoughts and bad thoughts, of pure motives and self-serving motives. I can only offer it up to you, and ask you to give me a heart that is pleasing to you — a pure heart, a clean heart.” You need to have the attitude of David when he said, “Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me.” (Psalm 51:10)

The only way you can be sure your heart is right is to yield it completely to God. You can analyze it to death and you'll only deceive yourself. You can listen to the opinions of others, and they'll lead you astray. But if you give your heart to God, and trust him with it, he will remove that which is made of stone, and replace it with a heart of flesh — a heart that beats only for him.

When all is said and done, your actions and your conduct — more than anything else — reveal the motive of your heart. Therefore, the Bible says that God doesn't reward us according to our feelings; he rewards us according to our actions. Your job is to do what you know is the right thing to do. Leave your heart in his hands, and let him reward you according to your actions.


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