Thursday, June 16, 2016

Luke 6:44-45 -- On the Treasures of our Hearts

"For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes.
A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh."
Luke 6:44-45

Sometimes we think that we can *be* good, and do bad things... or that other people can.  Here, I think God is telling us that isn't the case.  I'm definitely not talking about abuse and coercion here, but when it is our free choice to do bad, then something within us is bad as well.  That doesn't mean we're lost forever, of course, there is a cure.  We don't have to continue being part evil.  But the first step is admitting that when we choose evil, it means that we need to change.  It isn't the environment or the government or our parents' influence that caused us to be evil.  It's inside us.  All of us are partly good and partly bad.  Mosiah 3:19 tells us that "For the natural man is an enemy to God" but later also tells us that we can change. We have to "yield to the enticings of the Holy Spirit," and put "off the natural man" and become saints "through the atonement of Christ the Lord."  Or in other words, we have to repent, and turn to God.

Now, of course, there is good in all of us as well.  We're blessed with God's spirit, and a big part of us longs to return home to God.  We don't have to let the evil win.  Our good side is also strong, and it can get stronger the more we let it take charge of our decisions.  And I think that is what these verses are saying as well. We make decisions based on what treasures we're allowing our heart to focus on. Treasures might be people, habits, hobbies, or just beliefs and values.  Whatever we're letting into our hearts.  We need to think about and ensure that we're investing in good treasures and not bad ones.

Today, let's recognize that the choices we make directly reflect what is in our hearts.  If those choices are tending to the bad, let's make sure we start working on our priorities and our focus.  Let's turn to God, do more and more good, and give our goodness more and more power in our lives, and start repenting of our bad actions, and rooting out the evil.  As we do, we'll become more good and less evil, until the perfect day when there is no evil left at all. :)

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