Read: Luke 12:22-34
It was 9 o’clock and a teary-eyed redhead stood in front of me, clutching her finger as she held it up for me to inspect.
“Daddy, you said you would get me another Band-Aid before I went to bed,” she said.
Her finger was naked. The fuse was lit.
“But you didn’t,” she said.
Tears began flowing from the eyes of a my 5-year-old girl, heaving as she accused her father of not being truthful.
Of course, I wasn’t lying. I intended to apply the Hello Kitty Band-Aid to her finger and kiss the boo-boo to make it feel better. But I forgot. In my rush to get her to bed on time, I didn’t count my word as important as I should have. I finally followed through on my promise but not before causing a puddle of tears and creating an environment of distrust and suspicion.
Did my nuanced excuse make much difference to my daughter? Not really.
When it comes to matters of faith, it’s easy to talk a big game. We say things without thinking through what it takes to put our words into action. This year, I’m going to serve the Lord with all my heart! we boldly proclaim. However, the problem isn’t our intent – it’s our divided heart, one we comfortably slice up to suit our selfish interests. With each slice, we diminish our ability to live up to a passionate pursuit of God.
In the process of slicing and dicing, we begin to lose sight of the big picture, the one that values eternal things over the daily things. We succumb to the tyranny of the urgent and push God further and further down on our “to-do” list. Instead of putting Him on a to-do list, He should be the only item on our “way-to-live-every-waking-moment” list. It’s the only way to make sure that our words and our deeds match.
Jesus masterly perceived the intentions of people’s hearts. Whether individually or in a collective group, Jesus knew what people were thinking and knew the condition of their hearts, where their hearts were. Sometimes, we don’t realize where our hearts reside—but Jesus gave us a way to determine its true state: “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Luke 12:34, NIV).
That verse helps us create a litmus test for syncing our words and deeds. Where do we put the emphasis of our lives? Pleasing God and by serving Him and loving others? Or serving ourselves? Our answer is all too telling.
As we embark on a New Year, let’s count important what we say. Let’s truly let our words and our deeds align with the heart of God. Let’s make 2012 a year where our actions get in step with the person we know God is calling us to be.
Pray: “Father, thank you for Your faithfulness to always do what You say You will. Please help me to be more diligent to honor my word to honor You with my life. Amen.”