For many of us, faith is not the issue. We’re up to challenge. We don’t rest on our laurels. We can run towards the piercing arrows unshaken and stand in a fiery furnace immovable. We can unscramble the hidden message. We can see the invisible in the midst of the cloudy skies. We can walk on the water. We can smile and even rally the people to victory while keeping our head above the water.
Yet, the right kind of heart is still the compass in our Christian journey. Humility before faith; meekness before honor. This is one of the significant marks of a true disciple.
Matthew 15:25-28: But she came and began to bow down before Him, saying, “Lord, help me!” And Jesus answered and said, “It is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.” But she said, “Yes, Lord; but even the dogs feed on the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.” Then Jesus said to her, “O woman, your faith is great; it shall be done for you as you wish.” And her daughter was healed at once.
If we will read the verses above just scratching the surface, “faith” is most likely the highlight. But I believe before the Canaanite woman’s “great faith”, we must give her the credit of having the right kind of heart. If you were the woman and you were so in need or in pain or in your most desperate moment but instead of Jesus giving you the perfect treatment that you were expecting, Jesus would turn to you and say, “It is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.” How would you feel that instead of comfort, Jesus will throw you a mean answer and compare you to a dog? In this scenario, I believe many would walk away but the woman didn’t. She didn’t allow those words to offend her. She didn’t argue. She didn’t let her pride take the upper hand. Instead, she remained and with the lowliness of her heart, she accepted her position before Jesus. She didn’t demand for a big bite of bread but instead, she put so much weight on what the little crumbs can do to her. Thus, before her faith was seen, her heart was first put to test.
The way up is the way down. This is just one of the many ironies in the Bible that many people would not easily understand but this is one of the key yardsticks to gauge the level of our maturity. It is how we respond when we are offended. It is how we remain when we are in pain. So yes still, above our great performances and all our accomplishments – even the countless fruits that we can bring to the Kingdom, the fact remains, the right kind of hearts will set the line between a disciple and not… Without this right kind of heart, our faith will surely crumble.
“O God, let the secrets of my heart be uncovered, and let my wandering thoughts be tested.” Psalm 139:23, Basic in Bible English
PS – I have actually written this on August 15, 2011.