Monday, July 18, 2016

Heart Condition

By Andrea Merrell

God desires our praise, our worship, and intimate communion. But does He expect each of His children to respond exactly the same way?

If you look around at any church service or Christian concert, you’ll see people responding to God in a variety of ways. While some hands are raised high in worship and surrender, heads are bowed and eyes closed in silent respect and adoration. Some might dance with joyful abandon while others sit quietly, soaking in His presence.

At a ladies’ conference several years ago, my friend, Joyce, was seated next to a lady who seemed to take extreme interest in the way Joyce was responding to the service and continually tried to coach her. “Don’t close your hands, honey. That means your heart and mind are closed to the Lord. Open your hands and turn your palms upward so you can receive what God has for you.”

After the third time, Joyce turned to me with a sigh and a look of total exasperation on her face. She was distracted by the constant interruptions and getting little out of the speaker’s presentation. Not wanting to be rude or offend the lady by asking her to mind her own business, we quietly slipped out of the balcony like we were going to the restroom and found another seat.

What this well-meaning lady failed to realize is that we all receive from God according to our own personality, upbringing, and state of mind. We should never try to dictate to others how they should respond when in God’s presence.

It was a very uncomfortable situation at the time but if we could go back and have a do-over, I would very nicely say to the lady, “It’s the condition of the heart that matters, not the position of the hands. That’s what God sees.”

(Photo courtesy of


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