There is much that the Bible says concerning our emotions and thoughts. The reason for this is simple, what is on the inside of a person will eventually be seen on the outside as well. This is the reason in which we are told by Jesus that we can recognize a tree from the fruit that it produces.
So with this in mind, we are going to examine today what the scriptures say about different attitudes of the heart, not to condemn anyone, but to learn from the wisdom of the verses and then discover how Jesus can heal each of these situations.
For this study, we will be looking at examples of what is to be considered “bad behavior”, but it is always important to remember that we should never read the Bible as a rulebook – it was never meant to be a set of do’s and don’ts. The warnings that we see in the Bible about bad behavior are not meant to condemn us, but they are meant to bring us to the end of ourselves. We alone do not have the power to achieve the standards of the Bible, but Christ does; and when we receive Him we also receive His strength and His righteousness as a free gift.. that is the message of the Gospel.
So let’s take a look at our first example… Proverbs 17:5:
“Whoever mocks the poor reproaches his Maker: and he that is glad at calamities will not be unpunished.”
There are those in the world today who do exactly what this verse is describing. To rejoice at calamity, and to celebrate it as God’s divine judgment on those who are suffering. We can see here though that this is not what God considers right believing. We should not be rejoicing when we see people suffer, or telling them “see you got what was coming to you.” To behave in this manner is to not understand the spirit of Grace. Jesus did not come to give evil people the punishment they deserve but He came to transform their hearts with His love and to change what they deserve.
We must recognize that every bad thing that happens in this world is ultimately a result of the fallen sin nature that has taken hold; even death itself. Now when a curse of sin takes hold of a person and manifests itself in one form or another and causes pain and suffering, God is not pleased and neither should we be pleased. Instead of being glad at their calamity, we are called to show them they way out of it and how Jesus can redeem and restore their entire life.
Today when we see people suffering our response should be to show them the love of God, not to rejoice in their pain. This is exactly what Jesus Christ did, and as His ambassadors on this earth we are called to do the same; and we can only do this by receiving the spirit of Grace and the love of God for ourselves first.
Here is a key point, because many people (believers included) are trying to love others and finding the well of their love running dry. This is because we are not called to “try and love others”, but instead we are called to love from the overflow of the love which we receive from Jesus. I will say this right here and now, that it is impossible for one person to truly love another person one-hundred percent – unless they first receive the love of Jesus into their lives. Let me show you a scriptural basis that shows us quite clearly where the source of love is, and how we draw from it.
1st John 4:18:-21:
“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear: because fear has torment. He that fears is not made perfect in love.
We love, because he first loved us.
If a man say, I love God, and hates his brother, he is a liar: for he that loves not his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?
And this commandment have we from him, That he who loves God love his brother also.”
My friends, this is the essence and source of our love. First that perfect loves has no fear, and furthermore it drives away whatever fear is present. This perfect love is not from us because we do not love perfectly. This perfect love is the love of God for all of us manifested in Jesus Christ. This drives out fear because as we see the truth of what Jesus has done for us we realize that we have no more debt to God; the debt has been paid in full. Once we see this marvelous truth and make it our own, fear has no leg left to stand on. How can we not be totally secure when we know how deeply God loves us?
Now those who have truly received the love of God will also effortlessly love people. It will not be a difficult love out of our own strength, but an overflowing love from what He has given to us.
This brings us to our next example, Proverbs 17:9:
“He that covers a transgression seeks love; but he that repeats a matter separates intimate friends.”
Someone once asked me: “How do I forgive someone who has hurt me?”… this verse has the answer. As humans, we care more for the law and justice then we do about people. But God desires mercy rather than sacrifice. Not that sins go unpunished, but that they were punished in the body of Jesus Christ so that we would not suffer the punishment.
I have seen marriages broken because one person could not forgive the other, and took every opportunity to mention the offense over and over again. This is not God’s way, but it is in-fact how the enemy behaves. Think about it:
Today when we fail, the Holy Spirit reminds us that we are righteously forgiven by Christ and that God still loves us. The enemy on the other hand, keeps repeating the matter to us trying to make us feel guilty, separated from God and condemned.
God reconciles us, the enemy tries to condemn us.
Now the point is this: Since God does not march-out our sins in front of us over and over again to condemn us; we have no right to do that to anyone else when they hurt us. The way of God is forgiveness and peace. When we realize how much we are forgiven by God, we will in-turn forgive others.
Do you see how this can become effortless for us when we first receive from God? We do not have the power to do this on our own, but when Christ truly is our source, His fruits, the fruits of the Spirit are then produced in our life and we bless others out of His marvelous overflow.
Give Jesus the praise! The work is finished! We can rest!