“For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what one does not have.” ((2 Corinthians 8:12 NIV)
God looks at the heart, not the amount.
Jesus knows your intentions because He knows your heart. He knows when you are doing something out of love, or out of spite. We’ve all done both.
When I was little and played baseball with my brothers, I did that out of love. However, when I tattled on them because they didn’t do what I wanted, I did that out of spite. Hurting people hurt others. That is why, in order to stop the vicious cycle of hurt, we need to learn how to deal with our feelings.
God loves a healthy heart.
Identifying emotions is not a lesson I learned as a child. Recently, thanks to Brene Brown, one of my favorite authors, I’ve investigated emotions. Currently, on my laptop, the screensaver is smiley faces depicting different emotions, the description below. Turns out, we have far more emotions than just happy, mad or sad. When we push aside our emotions we only make them stronger. However, if we learn to identify them we can deal with them.
R.A.I.N. is a technique I’ve mentioned before. The acronym stands for Recognize, Accept, Investigate and Nurture. A friend and I experienced R.A.I.N. together. We were on a mission for medical supplies. The traffic was heavy, I was driving. Because of a car accident five years ago, I suffer with anxiety when driving. My anxiety was at an all time high this particular day. But I recognized it for the first time. Instead of trying to hide my anxiety, I shared it with my friend. She then helped me accept the anxiety as we talked through it. We already knew why I was feeling the way I was. When we arrived at our destination, I felt stupid for my anxiety. My friend however, nurtured me. She told me how proud she was of me for overcoming my anxiety and facing my fear.
God doesn’t want us to live in fear and anxiety. He wants us to willingly give Him our hearts and let Him fill them with His love. When we do, our gifts are pleasing to Him. My gift to Him was taking the trip. God knew my anxiety, the only way to overcome it is deal with it. In my situation, I dealt with my fear by taking a drive, trusting God to get me to my destination. He knew my heart was willing, my gift was pleasing. The amount isn’t as important as the intent.
God knows our hearts better than we do. He knows what emotions we struggle with each day. He knows what we need for a healthy heart. He wants the willingness more than He wants anything else.
Question of the Day:
What emotions are you dealing with today?