Yesterday, my four-year-old son accidentally spilled a full gallon of white paint down the carpeted stairs in our house. As I happened upon this mess, I thought of this quote from Dave Harvey’s book When Sinners Say I Do . My response wasn’t perfect but it was tempered by the realization that the idols in my heart were being exposed (my personal comfort, my desire for a perfect house, my plan to do something “profitable” with my day).
Not long ago, my son started the lawnmower with the oil cap loose. Once the engine heated up, the poor kid struck oil. And it was a geyser! Since I don’t change the oil often (read: never), a slimy black sludge erupted from the engine, covering the lawnmower, my son, and everything within a six-foot radius. (It’s because of stuff like this that I don’t cut grass.)
This might be a helpful illustration for understanding the operation of remaining sin. Original sin filled the “engine” of our hearts with the “oil” of depravity–dark, greasy, and staining everything it touches. Circumstances come along and heat the engine. When the engine is hot–when events in our lives test our hearts by stirring anger, lust, greed, etc.–whatever is in the engine spews out. The heat (the circumstances did not fill the engine with oil, it simply revealed what was in the engine.
Experienced any heat lately?…
Have you ever considered why there are no accounts of Jesus slamming a door in angry frustration or inflicting the “silent treatment” on someone who hurt him? Why didn’t Jesus get irritated or bitter or hostile? The simple but astounding answer is that when his engine was heated by circumstances, what was in his heart came out: love, mercy, compassion, kindness, Christ didn’t respond sinfully to the circumstances in his life–even an undeserved, humiliating, torturous death–because the engine of his heart was pure. What was in his heart spilled over. It was love!
I should have thought to take a “before clean-up picture”. This was after about an hour-and-a-half with a Rug Doctor. – Amy Hatfield