Thursday, August 31, 2006

The nights grow long

Out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.

I recently started reading a book by a guy named Andy Stanley called "It Came From Within."
He's a pastor in Atlanta, started a church in like 1995 with just himself, his family and a few others and now the church has like 10,000 people or something in regular attendance. Depends on who you are whether that means anything or not, it doesn't make me look at the guy any differently than I would a piece of toast, but what he has to say is beneficial.
He looks at matters of the heart, or rather, the words of our mouths and the actions of our lives and the direct correlation they have with what's stirring around inside. Jesus said a few times that what we say and do reflects what is really happening deep within.
When things are hidden and not released, when past pains continue to fester, when habits are kept secret, they will manifest themselves in our words and deeds.
Unfortunately I know this all too well from first hand experience. The destruction that such things can have on one's attitude, relationships and overall personality is devastating. At times I've been that destructive force that pushes people away even though I think I'm trying to draw them in. When you've something to hide, people aren't able to get close because you won't let them, and when you do, it's like a volcano vomiting molten lava all over the one who was really only trying to care.
What is attractive about someone who is closed off? Who says and does things that defame themself and others? Why should a person try to dig into a heart like that? Well, logic says stay away. At least in my mind that's what it says, protect yourself and back off. I see a problem with that approach however. If I'm supposed to love others like myself, I should really stop at nothing to try and help that person towards healing in Christ. Does love shrink away? Does love say "I'm out" when there's potential for disaster? I don't think so, Scripture seems to lean the other way. "Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends." That's Jesus talking to his disciples and telling them to love each other as he has loved them (John 15:13). But what does that say about love? It says do anything necessary to help out a friend.
What are you saying if you walk away? You're saying you don't care, that says there's stuff within that needs to be resolved. What comes from the mouth comes from the heart.
I have a tendancy to step back, to allow someone else to deal with people. To "stay out of it" even when it's a friend that needs help.
There is continually stuff that's being brought to my attention, whether by the Spirit of God directly or through a friend, that needs to be dealt with. Things that have been long neglected that have caused rifts in relationships and would continue to do so were they not resolved. Many things have been and are being resolved, it's cool how that happens actually. God walks you through the trash and removes it from you but it seems that it happens in layers. When one layer of filth is peeled away another is revealed and the process starts again.
An infected wound is not able to heal unless the dead tissue, the infection, and any other impurities are removed. Obviously I'm no doctor, but I know this is the case.

I think much of this is a jumbled mess of thought in my mind, but that's alright, I don't really expect people to follow everything, but hopefully some of the things that I learn may give some insight for someone else.
Out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. So what does that say about the way I talk trash about myself, about others (at times)? What does it say about my lack of trust in other people? What does that say about the times when I do nothing productive?
Methinks it says that there may be some things yet to be revealed that God wants to heal. These days, I'm always up for a challenge.


Lorraine T said...


michelleloeppky said...

Hey Troy. Well put. I know this is the first time I've commented on your blog, but ... I think "memoirs" are not "memoires" ... but yeah. Good post.