A Matter of the Heart, Part 1

A Matter of the Heart

“For thus says the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel: ‘In returning and rest you shall be saved; In quietness and confidence shall be your strength.’ But you would not” (Is. 30:15).

Those last words are haunting: “but you would not.” Think about it—the Holy One of Israel, the Lord omnipotent and full of grace, tells how true rest and deliverance can be found; how a quiet confidence that is so allusive in our day can be acquired and strengthened in a weary and hurried soul. All this offered, “but you would not”; you would not return to the one lover and savior of your soul. What a sober commentary on missed opportunities, a warning to those who ought to have ears to hear and hearts to receive instruction!

J.R. Miller closed our 29-week review of Young People’s Problems like this: “Shall we not set this lesson for ourselves in the bright days of youth when we are learning to live? Let us trust God and do our duty, committing all the tangles and frets to Him. He will take care of us. Though we must walk through dark ways, we shall always find light; for He who is the Light of the world will walk with us. It is a great thing to have in one’s heart a fountain which will supply all one’s needs. Then one can be independent of circumstances and of experiences, and be everywhere and always the same sweet, quiet, rejoicing Christian.”

If we are honest, we must confess that the topics we studied this year are “adult people’s problems” too; they are lessons we ourselves need to heed as well! Dear parents and fellow Character Advocates, lovers of our own children’s souls, hear again the axiom: “We cannot lead another any further than we have gone ourselves.” Only the healthy, those who are strong, can help and lift up those who are not. We must find that rest and quiet confidence if we are to instill it in another.

“Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience” (Heb. 4:11). Hebrews 4 is familiar to those who have spent any time in the Word. It is often viewed as a personal challenge to the “individual” who might fail the “promise [that] remains of entering [God’s] rest.” Yet if we look closely, we will see an element of the collective: “Let us (each individual) … enter that rest, lest anyone (of us or another) fall according to the same example of disobedience.” That word “anyone” can imply “someone” else; and given the context of Heb. 4:11, I submit that the rest God promises here reinforces both our own personal faith and faith/obedience in the hearts of others under our influence.

Thus these pointed words of John Angell James: “The silent influence of parental conduct is far greater, either for good or for evil, than most parents are aware of. You teach by what you say, you influence by what you do; and also by what you do not say, and do not perform… O parents, parents! Take care what you are teaching your children by your example. You are always influencing them for good—or evil. You are leading them to Heaven—or to Hell. Not a day passes, but you produce impressions, perhaps permanent impressions—either good or bad!”

I am not through; these thoughts will be continued.

— Joe LoGiudice, Principal