Large and loving hearts

The best training for a soldier of Christ is not merely a theological college. They always seem to turn out sausages of varying lengths, tied at each end, without the glorious freedom a Christian ought to abound and rejoice in. You see, when in hand-to-hand conflict with the world and the devil, neat little biblical confectionery is like shooting lions with a pea-shooter: one needs a man who will let himself go and deliver blows right and left as hard as he can hit, trusting in the Holy Ghost. It’s experience, not preaching that hurts the devil and confounds the world. The training is not that of the schools but of the market: it’s the hot, free heart and not the balanced head that knocks the devil out. Nothing but forked-lightning Christians will count. A lost reputation is the best degree for Christ’s service. It is not so much the degree of arts that is needed, but that of hearts, loyal and true, that love not their lives to the death: large and loving hearts which seek to save the lost multitudes, rather than guard the ninety-nine well-fed sheep in the British pen.” – C. T. Studd

A friend blogged this the other day and it really rang true for me. But it got me to thinking about my heart, and it struck me that it is not large and loving, but small and atrophied from lack of use. That I talk a lot about what is right; that I’m vocal about the oprhans and the poor, but do very little about it. A casual reading here will show that I’m feeling it’s time to DO something. To get over my fear, and do something I believe in. I think that’s going to change things for me…like the whole Kingdom thing that everyone is going on about will make more sense ‘out there’ for me because it sure as heck doesn’t seem to make sense in church.

Also…it’s so easy to romanticise the care of orphans and helping the poor. Sounds so noble. Yet when I think about it, it requires great sacrifice and definitely won’t be easy. It is sometimes hard enough to love my own children when they’re being unlovely…and they are my own flesh and blood. What makes me think it will be all serene and tender to love an abandoned child? They may be unlovely at times, most likely troubled, needy, angry, hungry, sick, tired, grumpy, difficult.

I know for sure I need a bigger heart. I find myself complaining about small discomforts. I am concerned that I don’t do anything that makes me uncomfortable. I don’t do anything that is selfless. I’m greedy with my time, my space, and God help me! my money. I like to talk about generous giving, but actually…not if it’s my own housekeeping money…I want to put my family first….Selfish.

I have asked God to fill my shrivelled, selfish little heart with His love, and to lead me to what is next.

In the meantime, there’s a whole lot I can do close to home, which will get me out of my own freaking introspection and rubbing shoulders with some real people.



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