You who teach others, do you not teach yourselves?
When I first started writing, I named my blog The Blessing Collective.
The Blessing Collective name was meant to be a spin off of the phrase count your blessings in a collect your blessings kind of way. It fit for the moment; I wanted to write from a place of encouragement, positivity, and do my best to focus on God’s blessings in the everyday.
If we’re being honest, I didn’t intend to change the name of my blog. I made the catastrophic mistake of attempting to switching my blog’s web host without doing proper research into how to transfer the actual domain name over. Long story short, TheBlessingCollective.com belongs to another host and I don’t own it at the minute. I was left with two choices: be defeated and give up or change the domain name of my blog. I took the second route.
Truth be told, I don’t know where the name Heart After God came from. I know God has ordained it; it came to me in the blink of an eye, at the spur of the moment, and it aligned perfectly with the intention of my blog. Contrarily, The Blessing Collective never felt quite right. The Blessing Collective felt like a business name, a brand name, and gave the impression I was trying to hoard God’s love and blessings, even though I wasn’t. So why Heart After God?
Oh, dear friend. I can’t begin to explain it. From the beginning of my journey in writing for the Lord, I have prayed for His blessing over it. I pray for the Lord to bless it in the way that He sees fit, for encouragement, discipline, and for the Spirit to guide every word I write.
Yes, Rachel, and?
And every time I would pray this prayer for my blog, I found that my biggest desire was to write with pure intentions from my heart. Authenticity for everything I write to be from a pure heart and only a pure heart. Purity of motive. The last thing I would want is to build a blog on the Lord’s name while behind closed doors my heart wasn’t aligned with his.
For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh; but he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the Spirit, not in the letter; whose praise is not from men but from God.
Circumcision is that of the heart.
You who teach others, do you not teach yourselves?
What we portray on the outside doesn’t always mirror what is going on in the inside.
What Paul was saying in Romans 2:29 is that the men’s circumcision has become foreskin (can you image telling a first century Jewish person that their circumcision meant nada if their hearts weren’t in it?). It sounds silly to us, but to a Jewish person it was… crazy. The concept of abiding by God’s law in our hearts was radical!
And yet, Paul being the courageous person he was, calls the Jewish people out for their hypocrisy. They were robbing temples, stealing, committing adultery, you name it, they were doing it. It wasn’t necessarily the physical act of sin that Paul was addressing, however, but the status of their hearts. Because yes, you can commit sin in your heart without acting upon it physically! And do you know whyyy their hearts weren’t in it?
They were entitled brats. Okay, brat is a strong word. But they were entitled all the same.
They felt entitlement. Entitled to God’s blessings, his goodness, his righteousness — they claimed it all as their own! They felt that it belonged to them simply because of who they were as God’s chosen people. They felt because they put on a good front that they were exempt from God’s judgement upon the sin that was lurking deep down in their hearts.
Likewise, as modern Christians, we could easily fall into the same trap. We are God’s chosen. His sons and daughters. We are the inheritors. His flock. But sometimes, we as bloggers or Christians walking in a broken world, could fall into the trap of teaching others without teaching ourselves.
Romans 2:20-21 an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of little children, because you have in the law the embodiment of knowledge and truth you, then, who teach others, do you not teach yourself?
I can be envious, proud, vain, and have idols. And that’s just the beginning. I can let sin fester deep in my heart if I am not too careful. But worst of all, I can let sin fester in my heart and put on a preeetty good front.
I tell you what, I am on my fitness journey at the minute — and you know that feeling of intense burning when your lactic acid is building up and you are struggling to push through? Yeah, God is speaking to my own heart at the minute and I’m feeling the burn. I am so guilty! I am laid bare before you by telling you that yes I have made an idol out of my blog before. But the good news is that the Lord is so gracious and patient with me.
He made me after all; how could I not believe that he would know every little thought or feeling? How could I not believe that he knows the depths of my heart when every day that I live has been ordained and written in his book?
He is a searcher and knower of our hearts.
Psalm 139: 1-4
You have searched me, Lord,
and you know me.
2 You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
3 You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
4 Before a word is on my tongue
you, Lord, know it completely.
He knows the secrets of our hearts.
Psalm 44:21 Would not God find this out? For He knows the secrets of the heart.
He weighs our hearts.
Proverbs 21:2 Every man’s way is right in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the hearts.
Isn’t that scary and amazing all at once?
My prayer for you today is that you read and hear these words. That you invite God to search your heart and test your ways. That you incline your heart and align your motives with his motives. I pray your blog is a blessing to those who read it and that the Spirit guides you in the words that you share. You who teach others, do you not teach yourself?
I pray also that you continue to be your own teacher; you dig in deep to the word of God and listen to the words he speaks to your heart. I pray you are transparent and authentic in your love for Christ; that you are circumcised in your spirit and your heart. Out of our hearts will flow living water if we love and encourage one another in walking with Jesus daily. In Jesus name I pray, Amen!