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Navigating Decisions as a Jesus Follower: A Journey Through the Heart Cycle (Part 2)

God's word will always take us deeper.

In my last blog post (click here to read), we cycled our way through the theoretical application of the Biblical command to "BE A CHEERFUL GIVER" (2 Corinthians 9:7).

We started with the desire to please God, the knowledge that God loves a cheerful giver, and the intention of giving. But that's not the end of the story! What happens now if I continue examining my heart and realize that I'm giving, but I can't honestly say that I'm cheerful about it. My mind keeps going back to what I could do with that money if I weren't bringing it to the Lord. Let's take another round through the emotions, the knowledge, and the will, and back to the emotions again.

A Second Cycle Through the Emotion Chamber

So we cycle back to the desire/ emotions circle and find another Red flag!! 2 Corinthians 9:7 told me that God loves a cheerful giver, but if I'm honest - and I must be ruthlessly honest - I'm giving now but I'm not really cheerful about it. In fact, I find myself resenting it every time I bring my money. Again, something doesn't align with God's heart, and this time it's in the emotions even though the will is being obedient. Does that really matter, since I'm being obedient with my actions? Why yes, Yes it does, because God tells us He wants us to love Him with ALL of our heart, and that includes the emotions.

What do I do about this? I can't just grit my teeth and decide to be cheerful! Here's an important principle to remember:

If my emotions are out of line with God's Word, that means

my thinking is somehow out of line with God's truth.

Don't ignore your emotions, evaluate them through a Biblical lens to see what truth you're not believing and what lies you are believing.

A Deeper Dive Into the Belief Chamber

So this leads us right around to the mind/knowledge/belief circle of the heart. What I should do to fix this misalignment is to start researching everything I can find that the Bible says about money and giving (and there's actually a lot!) The Lord will begin to open my eyes to truths like:

  • God is the owner of everything, including all my money.

  • God is my provider, the Good Shepherd. God promises to supply my needs.

  • The love of money is the root of all evil.

  • I can be content with what God provides.

  • God will use my offering to Him to expand His Kingdom.

And so much more.

A Second Look at the Will Chamber

At some point as I absorb these truths into my mind, I realize that I am giving with a different attitude.

What is that? Am I actually cheerful when I bring my offering to the Lord? Whoa, I'm experiencing being "transformed by the renewing of my mind."

It's not always that cut and dried. And sometimes (O.K., always) it's brutally painful to confront our own hearts honestly - it requires a dying to self. But it's essential to really growing and really being a disciple of Jesus, and this is what God desires. Psalm 51:6 says

"Behold, You desire truth in the innermost being, and in secret You will make wisdom known to me."

This is why we pray like David did in Psalm 139:23-24:

"Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my concerns, and see if there is any rebellious way in me, and lead me in the ancient way."

He will help us, He will teach us, He will transform us!


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