I’m sure that if I asked any of you if our actions really matter, you would say “yes,” but how much do they matter? Do our thoughts and speech matter?
“Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in Heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in Heaven.” – Matthew 18:18
[*Note: The above verse has been taken out of context. The context of the verse actually has to do with the sin of believers and forgiveness.]
I read that verse as part of my devotions the other day and God spoke something convicting to my heart. It wasn’t bad, but it was challenging. The specific words that God drew my attention to, “whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in Heaven,” immediately made me think of the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” When I was growing up, my mom drilled that saying into my head when I was being mean to my sisters. The Golden Rule is biblical–I didn’t know that when I was younger, but you can find it in Matthew 7:12 and Luke 6:31.
So God asked me, “Are you loosing upon others what you would like me to loose upon you?” Can I just tell you that is a seriously challenging question to be asked by anyone, but especially by God. What do we want God to loose upon us? We want God to loose blessing, kindness, patience, forgiveness, understanding, and love upon us. Do we loose these things upon others?
If I’m very honest with myself, I have to say that I don’t always release these things to others. I loose impatience, unforgiveness, frustration, etc., upon many people. Those aren’t the kind of things that I want God to loose upon me. This isn’t just about the way that we act, but the way that we talk and what we think as well.
The Bible says:
“In the same way, every good tree bears good fruit, but every bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, not can a bad tree bear good fruit” – Matthew 7:17-18.
What kind of fruit do you bear? What kind of fruit would you like to bear more of?
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other. – Galatians 5:22-26