A Good Heart

How many times have you heard or said: He (she) has a good heart? How do you know? An adulterer who takes in stray animals, a thief who volunteers to mow a neighbor’s lawn, a liar who takes meals to shut-ins. Does kindness or thoughtfulness indicate a good heart?

In Jeremiah 17:9&10, we read that the human heart is “the most deceitful of all things and desperately wicked.” Who can know what is truly in a heart, what really motivates a person to do anything?

Only God.

God is not fooled by acts of charity when the charitable person is harboring hatred or evil, and is rejecting him. I might be fooled into thinking a person has a good heart, even into thinking he or she walks with God. But unless that heart has been broken over sin, unless that person has repented and accepted God’s forgiveness, that person is actually carrying around a desperately wicked heart, and Jeremiah reminds us God judges the heart.

You can put pearls on a pig, but it’s still a pig. You can put frosting on manure, but that doesn’t make it a birthday cake any more than a kind act gives an unsaved person a good heart.

Can non-believers be nice people, kind, and considerate? Of course they can. Satan is the master at making sin look good. But let’s not be fooled into thinking they are ok the way they are. Because “good” isn’t good enough! And an unrepentant heart is not a good heart.

God, I pray that each of us will take a good look at our own heart because that’s the only heart we can know. Your word tells us that without you, our hearts are desperately wicked. It also tells us you don’t judge our actions without judging our hearts. May our hearts be broken in light of our sin, may we bow before you in repentance, and may you turn our wicked hearts into good hearts. May we determine to obey your word today, and may others recognize that any goodness in us comes from you.

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