The divided heart - Hope 103.2

The divided heart

By David ReayWednesday 11 Feb 2015LifeWords DevotionalsFaithReading Time: 0 minutes


Read Romans 7:21-25

21 I have discovered this principle of life-that when I want to do what is right,I inevitably do what is wrong. 22 I love God’s law with all my heart. 23 But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. 24 Oh,what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? 25 Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. So you see how it is: In my mind I really want to obey God’s law,but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin. (NLT)

Any right-thinking person despairs at the evil in the world. We might find ourselves wondering how good it would be if all the ‘bad’ people were quarantined from the rest of us so the world would be a better place. Let the Russian writer Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn respond-admitting he knew a thing or two about human evil:

“If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds,and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of their own heart?”

He is reflecting a profound and disturbing truth: we have divided hearts. Not that we are all equally evil,not that we are incapable of much good. Rather that none of us can claim an utter purity of heart. Or in more biblical terms,all have sinned and all fall short of the glory of God. To truly and honestly deal with the problem of evil,we must deal with our own selves somewhere along the way. Otherwise we become tiresome and hypocritical moral crusaders oblivious to our own flaws as we focus on the flaws of others.

Such recognition of our own inner ambiguities need not drive us to despair but rather to gratitude for the grace of God constantly seeking to heal our divided hearts.

David Reay