What I’m known for is as important as why I’m known for it.
White was a well-known family name throughout certain portions of West Virginia and beyond. The family patriarch—and the one who initially brought the family’s notoriety, was well known as a tap dancer. Unfortunately, he was shot and killed.
His daughter tells how only one of her brothers made it out of the poverty, fatality, and hopelessness the rest of the family experienced. He moved to another state to escape what had been his family’s fate. Two more of her brothers were killed. Those who survived carried on the family reputation: murder, theft, attempted murder, illegal drug use. And without shame.
Though the family could quote scripture, it made no impact on them. What came out in their actions revealed what was in their hearts? They wanted to be remembered for the hell they raised and for their don’t-mess-with-us reputation.
Jesus states a well-known fact. When good works are seen, they are flowing from a good heart—although one tainted with sin. When evil deeds are witnessed, they flow from a wicked heart—although one tainted with good.
What I’m attracted to is crucial. Because my heart is tainted with a sinful bent, I tend to be drawn to those things that are against God’s will for me or either not in my best interest. Things that will only bring temporary pleasure. Things that exhibit a selfish nature. I’m also attracted to fatal attitudes and emotions. Revenge is much easier than forgiveness.
Anger is much simpler than love. What I’m naturally attracted to is fatal and will bear itself out in ungodly actions and attitudes.
Only Christ can change what attracts me. When I ask for his forgiveness, he gives me a new nature. When I feed that new nature through spiritual disciplines such as Bible study and prayer, the things that attract me will change. And so will my actions and attitudes.
What things or attitudes attract you? Your answer reveals the state of your heart. Be attracted by good and godliness.
Prayer: Father, draw us to feed our inner selves so our outward actions will promote love for You and others.
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