The Heart of the Baltimore Matter

Many a murderer is more alarmed at the gallows than at the murder which brought him to it. The thief loves the plunder, though he fears the prison. Not so with David: he is sick of sin as sin; his loudest outcries are against the evil of his transgression, and not against the painful consequences of it. When we deal seriously with our sin, God will deal gently with us. When we hate what the Lord hates, he will soon make an end of it, to our joy and peace. ~Charles Spurgeon, in Treasury of David, Psalm 51

If you’ve read any headlines this week, you’ll know that people are desperately searching for the solution to rioting, hate, bigotry, and the lack of peace in our culture, our homes, and around the world. The words of Charles Spurgeon contain the solution: being sick of sin as sin, hating what God hates, and might I add, loving the Lord with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength FIRST, and loving our neighbor as ourselves, SECOND.

Without love, we are loud, obnoxious, clanging cymbals. We don’t experience riots. We ARE the riots. Without love through Christ, we are not conquerors. We are conquered by our own evil desires.

The problem today is that we are giving in to our own sin. We aren’t hating our sin, we are loving it and merely fearing the gallows and the prison rather than the God of the universe. It’s not just in the streets of Baltimore. It’s in the tiny towns, suburbs, and big cities. It’s in our homes and hearts. And until we start hating what God hates, and fearing Him more than we fear consequences, peace and joy will remain elusive.

Maybe you’re not a rioter. Maybe you’re a glutton, an adulterer at heart, a gossip, or a lazy bum. Maybe you provoke your children to wrath or disrespect your husband. I can’t see your heart. I don’t know your sins. But I know mine. And I see the solution to all my sin is to beg for mercy, to be sick of sin as sin, to hate what God hates, to cry out ~ loudly protest! ~ against the sin in my heart, and to l-o-v-e, LOVE.

We don’t need riots. We need repentance. We need to turn off the TV, Twitter, and Facebook, and tune in to the issues of our hearts. For it is then, and only then, that God will deal gently with us and give us what we are longing for: peace and joy.

The media is right when they say there’s lots of work to be done. But the work is inward, not outward. It’s not to go out and attempt to change the hearts of others by inflicting more injuries or yapping our heads off about the issues. It’s to keep at home and keep our hearts with all diligence, so that what springs forth is life and love and peace … not death and hate and destruction.

Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life. ~Proverbs 4:23

The heart of the matter is a matter of the heart.

Always.

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