Is it any wonder that so many today suffer from heart disease? It should not surprise us since scripture tells us that in tribulation many will be offended will betray one another and hate one another and because of lawlessness, the love of many will grow cold. This indicates a spiritual heart condition in which concern is for self rather than a brother. However, in Matthew 18 Jesus teaches that you cannot be forgiven ... unless you forgive your brother from your heart.
It may sound easy, but dealing with something that is lodged in our heart is no minor thing. In fact, it requires a type of spiritual heart surgery because only God can change the condition of our hearts. But before He does, we must come to Him on His terms.
The condition of our heart, whether it is proud or humble, depends on whether we hold on to offenses or let them go. A proud heart is hard and unforgiving holding on to matters that should have been let go. Contrarily, a humble heart is soft and forgiving letting go of an issue before it becomes an offense.
Just as the natural heart contains four chambers, the heart referred to in Scripture has four areas as well. They are called mind, will, emotions and spirit. When something is lodged in our hearts that means it has affected all four areas. When someone does something that harms us, we first take the incident into our minds and judge it. Oftentimes we even judge that person's motives and find fault with him. Next, our will automatically gets involved as we weigh the evidence according to our thoughts and choose, perhaps unconsciously, to assign blame. As the event is rehearsed in our mind, our emotions get involved because they are tied to our thinking. Most often, all of these processes are done without exposing any of our thoughts to the Light of God's Word. Hence, we have disobeyed the command to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.
Be not deceived, God is NOT mocked ... whatever a man sows, that shall he also reap. (Galatians 6:7) When we rehash negative events in our mind it is like sowing seeds of resentment, which actually means to feel again. Resentment unchecked leads to bitterness, a poison that hardens the heart and affects all our relationships, especially when gossip is involved. Whenever we gossip, we are broadcasting the condition of our heart. For out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.
Another way we walk in the flesh and reap the consequences is by giving preference to or changing your standards for someone who is rich or can offer you some personal benefit. God finds the use of differing 'weights' abominable - at the time He was talking to the Jews about physical scales in the marketplace. BUT, there's another application ... WE are using different weights whenever we judge a brother instead of showing him mercy and giving grace when we're offended. Yet when we commit a similar transgression, we expect others to show us grace and mercy. Hence, the Lord says, "You who judge do the same thing." Another way we use different weights is in using a magnifying glass in trying to find "dirt" on someone we don't like, but yet seeing ourselves through "rose colored" glasses. We, like David, often need a 'Nathan' to confront us before we acknowledge our own sin.