Southerners, well most Southerners, can move through the hot and muggy days of summer without much commotion, but give them cold temperatures in the winter and you can hear their complaints. It’s not that we don’t like cold weather—we would just rather not have to endure it.
And endure it we did last week as we wrapped up and made our way to church. Once inside, each hand I shook, whether young or old, was cold to the touch. Throughout the morning I heard comments of the unusual frigid temperatures that had infiltrated our southern state of South Carolina and made themselves home. And they had worn out their welcome.
“Man it’s cold outside.”
“What is the deal, it’s never this cold this long.”
“I sure am glad we aren’t getting snow like other parts of the state.” Yes, there are always the cup half full people around.
“I’m so tired of being cold!”
“You know what they say, cold hands warm heart.”
The statement about the warm heart, well, it got my attention. I know it’s an old saying, and one that I’ve said many times myself, but when I heard it last week I remembered the verse found in Proverbs that should be an important warning to all of us.
“Watch over your heart with all diligence,
for from it flows the springs of life.”
(Prov. 4:23 NASB.)
Watch over your heart. Do you even know what is in your heart that should be watched?
- Listen to yourself when you are talking to others.
- Take note of what conversations you start.
- Are your words encouraging or hurtful, kind or mean-spirited, bitter or joyful?
- Do you always talk about yourself or include others?
- Do all conversations end up focused on you, your family, your job, your problems, your ailments, or your interest?
- What is the tone of your voice?
Now is a great time for us to examine what’s in our hearts as we begin a new year. If we want others to see Jesus Christ in us, then we need to make sure our words reflect His love, mercy, and grace. If we have a cold heart it won’t matter how warm our hands are to the touch, because whatever is in our heart will flow out and be spoken and heard by others.
Scripture from New American Standard Bible
All photos courtesy of Pixabay.com