Every Problem Begins In The Heart
In the presence of rising gun violence in the United States and around the World, there is a call to change gun laws in an effort to prevent the thousands of deaths that occur every year.
The idea is that legislation and changes in laws can decrease the number of incidents of violent acts committed by the use of guns. By limiting the availability of guns, the number or type of firearms, less violent acts will take place.
The defenders of Second Amendment Gun Rights oppose these efforts on the basis that increased gun laws will not prevent the bad guys who use guns, from killing people. Bad people do not obey the laws that are made. Evil people will always find a way to acquire a firearm to kill by methods that are outside the restrictions of any law.
The problem with more laws is they don’t get to the real root of the problem: the hearts of people. Every violent act that causes the death of a person or persons begins with the heart. It is in the heart that all evil originates.
The way to change the behavior of people is to change their heart. Find out what is bothering those who feel the need for violence. Discover what the voids are that reside in the heart of people and seek to help them or end their hurt or despair, and behavior will change. People commit violent acts after a prolonged period of hurt, disgust, anger, or abuse by other people.
What people need is a new life; a new view and attitude about the things that bother them.
Jesus addressed this issue by stating that “out of the storehouse of the heart the mouth speaks.”
A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks. —Luke 6:45
Jesus said that all of the behaviors that trouble a person and cause suffering, death, and loss in the life of these persons and those they hurt, come from problems that reside within the heart.
For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within and defile a man.” —Mark 7:21-23
Change the heart of a person, change their life.
Jesus said that the only way that any person can truly be changed from within the heart is by the process that He came into the world to make possible: to be “born again,” a new creation that starts at the moment a person surrenders their life to Jesus and believes upon Him for their salvation.
This man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, “Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.” Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?”
Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.” —John 3:2-8
Behavior modification, 12 step programs, religion, and psychotherapy or rehabilitation, can only modify external behavior. Unless the heart of a person is changed, these external attempts will only have limited success. The error of Psychiatry is that it seeks to heal the mind of a person. Jesus said that before the mind is healed, the spirit of a person must be healed. We live as fallen beings with a spirit that is dead to God. What every person needs in their life is to become a new person, not a better one. Jesus doesn’t correct our behavior; He completely makes us into someone brand new and wipes away the past.
In order for this spirit within us to become alive, Jesus said that there must be a work of God’s Spirit where He comes to make us into a new creation.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. —2 Corinthians 5:17
Jesus said that this work of God’s Spirit is not something that can be seen from the outside. He described the work of becoming a new creation as one that takes place in the spirit and then continues to affect the mind and the heart. He said that no one can see this happen because it is like the wind; we see the effects of the wind but we cannot see where it came from or where it is going.
Bring a person into a knowledge of God’s love for them by His Son, Jesus Christ, and their life will change dramatically. Once a person understands how much they are loved and all of their sins have been forgiven, everything changes. First small differences are seen by people. As time passes, people begin to exhibit more and more changes in the way they talks and act in their lives. Over many years this person will become someone completely different from who they were before they came into a knowledge and relationship with Jesus.
How does this happen? By a simple, sincere, and straight forward prayer to God:
“Lord, please forgive me for my sins. I turn from them now to you. I want to receive you, Jesus, as my Lord and Savior. I ask you to come into my heart and make me a new creation. Take away all the hurt, anger, desire for vengeance, and replace it with love, forgiveness, and peace. Come into my life Jesus, I surrender all of myself to you at this moment. I ask this in Jesus Name, who died for me.”
This prayer is only given as an example of what a person can say to God. The words are not as important as the sincerity behind the prayer. If you are serious with God, He will know it. If you are not telling the truth when you pray, He knows this also. What He does in your life depends upon the condition and desire of your heart when you come to Him for a new life.
If you want a new life, you can have one today. Your future depends upon what you do with your thoughts, hurt, and the decision you can make right now. Jesus can change any heart that is filled with anger and a desire to commit violence. He has changed my life completely over the past 42 years and He can change yours beginning right now.
If you are one who is concerned about the increase in violent acts by those who kill with guns, begin to pray for changed hearts and share Jesus with everyone you meet. The answer to our current problem is to give people Jesus and flood their hearts with His light and love.