Proverbs 10:12

Proverbs 10:12 "Hatred stirreth up strifes: but love covereth all sins."
Proverbs 10:12 Buffalo NY Church
There are a wide variety of feelings that the human heart is capable of entertaining.  On one end of the spectrum of these feelings is love and on the other end of the spectrum is hate.  This parable addresses the power these feelings possess when they find a home in our heart.  There is no such thing as an insignificant feeling.  There is no such thing as an irrelevant feeling and there is no such thing as an ineffectual feeling.

Man’s feelings are like Nature’s seeds that are designed for CREATIVE ACTION.  Seeds don’t stay seeds unless they’re confined to a nutrient deprived environment, such as a sealed package.  Put a seed in the ground and it comes alive!  It is amazing how much creative power is packed into a tiny seed.  In relatively short time after being placed in the ground, a little arm comes out of the seed and begins to push through the heavy soil.  In a matter of days, that little arm grows an army of smaller arms and they begin to push downward into the thick soil.  Once those little arms have the leverage they need, they push the seed up through the ground to the surface where it can get warmth and food from the sun.  From there, the roots grow bigger and deeper while the seed grows upward and outward.  Eventually, fruit appears somewhere on or in the plant.  It’s truly amazing!  Nature’s seeds are full of power and when they are placed in the ground, that power is unleashed.
 
Like Nature’s seeds, man’s feelings are designed for CREATIVE ACTION.  When feelings are planted in our hearts, they will begin to act.  Feelings in our heart instinctively want to expand their influence and stretch their creative arms into the rest of our being.  It is not within the nature of feelings to sit idle or to lie dormant.  Feelings crave action.  Feelings demand influence.  It is for this reason that feelings are so influential in our lives.  

Solomon chose the feelings on either end of the spectrum to illustrate the active nature of our emotions.  On the dark side of the spectrum is HATRED and it demands action.  When placed in the heart, it immediately begins to push its little arm into the soul with the intent to stir up trouble.  Hatred is not “just” a feeling – it is a seed that initiates creative action.  In time, hatred demands gossip, slander, lies, cruelty and violence towards someone.  Hatred in the heart of man ALWAYS ACTS.  Hatred in the heart of man always moves the mouth or the hands or the feet.  Hatred in the heart of man never remains an invisible feeling without visible fruit.  It never remains an inaudible feeling without audible fruit.

On the bright side of the spectrum of feelings is LOVE and it too demands action.  When placed in the heart, it too immediately begins to push its little arm into the soul with the intent to cover transgressions.  Love is not “just” a feeling – it is a seed that initiates creative action.  In time, love demands forgiveness, grace, mercy and kindness towards someone.  Love in the heart of man ALWAYS ACTS.  Love in the heart of man always moves the mouth or the hands or the feet.  Love in the heart of man never remains an invisible feeling without visible fruit.  It never remains an inaudible feeling without audible fruit.
 
We tend to deny feelings the credit they deserve.  It’s easy to treat feelings casually because they seem to come and go.  We talk about them flippantly because no one can see them…or so we mistakenly think.  If we say we love someone, then there should be evidence of that love because love in the heart of man ALWAYS ACTS.  The Bible tells us that it “covers ALL sins.”  If we say we love someone, then we shouldn’t be constantly bringing up the things they’ve done to hurt us.  Instead, we should be doing whatever we can to “cover” those mistakes by forgiving them and by demonstrating true kindness to them.  Our ACTIONS reveal our FEELINGS.  If we’re “stirring up strife,” then we’re demonstrating hatred in our hearts, not love.  Our ACTIONS reveal our FEELINGS because OUR FEELINGS DEMAND ACTION.

When it comes to feelings, don’t fool yourself.  Whatever feeling you plant in your heart will eventually demand action.  It’s not something that will sit idle in your heart.  It’s not something that will lay dormant in your soul.  Eventually, it will demand that you do something about it and eventually, everyone will see how you really feel.  Furthermore, don’t fool yourself about the feelings that others close to you are harboring.  If you’re friends with someone who loves another person dear to you, then that friend will eventually act in such a way that helps you cover all of their sins. If you’re friends however, with someone who hates another person dear to you, then that friend will eventually act in such a way that will stir up strife between you two.  This is the scenario that the author of Hebrews addressed when he warned of allowing “any root of bitterness” to spring up within his readers.  In Hebrews 12:15, he warned of the feeling of bitterness because it would not only “trouble” the bitter person but that it would eventually “defile” or corrupt “many.”  The feeling of hatred demands that strife be stirred up and for one to stir up strife, the hater has to recruit more haters.    
 
There is no such thing as an insignificant feeling.  There is no such thing as an irrelevant feeling and there is no such thing as an ineffectual feeling.  Feelings are packed with power!  If you sense hatred in your heart, tear it out because it will not wait for your permission to begin to take root in your soul.  If you sense jealousy in your heart, tear it out because it will immediately begin to push its little arm into your soul.  Love is just as powerful and it too will take root in your heart if you entertain it.  It will demand forgiveness for those in your life.  It will demand kindness for others in your life.  It will bear fruit in your life that will impact every relationship around you.  This creative power and demanding nature is why Paul wrote these three words in 1 Corinthians 13:8, “Charity never faileth.”

Don’t underestimate the power of feelings and the speed at which they take root in your heart.  All feelings instinctively demand action but not all feelings demand the right kind of action.
 
Prov. 4:23 “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.”

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