Redeemed Heart Blog Series
By: Julie Barrios
The following blog series is meant to help guide us in posturing our hearts to invite the Holy Spirit into some of our most shadowed experiences. As followers of Christ we are all called to live a holy life as Christ is holy. Sadly, oftentimes we can focus more on our outward behavior than on the internal experience of our heart, the thing that truly guides our actions from day to day. A focus on behavior modification can leave us unaware of the condition of our heart and how God can redeem it. As the psalmist says, “Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting” (Psalm 139:23-24).
As we have been studying in 1 Peter, the Christian life involves the question of how, now that we have been given a new identity, do we live into who we are. Peter identifies Christians as people called to be obedient to Christ through the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit. He declares us a royal priesthood made to proclaim God’s glory. “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light” (1 Peter 2:9). But how do we posture our hearts in such a way that allows the Holy Spirit to do its sanctifying work?
This blog series is an exploration of both the “offensive ways” and “anxious thoughts” of our hearts, and the corresponding redeemed part of the heart that the Holy Spirit is continually developing in us. These are personal reflections based on the virtue and vice pairings that have been part of the tradition of Christian spirituality from the earliest years of the church. Each post will explore a particular pairing, for example pride and humility or envy and compassion, and how God is at work in our sanctification process.
Our hope with this series is to attend to what is happening in the deep places of our hearts so that God’s light may shine on and redeem them. As the Lord said to his people in Ezekiel, “And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh” (Ezekiel 36:26).
Table of Contents
Envy and Compassion: Envy From Head to Toe
Anger and Meekness: Robbed of Joy
Pride and Humility: The Isolation of Pride
Gluttony and Temperance: An Inordinate Quest
Lust and Purity: Ordering Our Loves
Sloth and Perseverance: Choosing Thankful Courage
Covetousness and Gratitude: A Subtle Refusal