The Litmus Test

Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth. We shall know by this that we are of the truth, and shall assure our heart before Him, in whatever our heart condemns us; for God is greater than our heart, and knows all things. Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God; and whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do the things that are pleasing in His sight. 1 John 3:18-22 (The New American Standard Bible)

I was pawing through a drawer in the mineralogy lab recently while looking for something and discovered a bottle of small strips of purple paper. The label said they were pieces of litmus paper, an absorbent paper impregnated with a purple dye sensitive to the presence of acids. If a paper strip is dipped into a liquid and it turns pink, the solution has acidic properties. If it remains purple, the liquid does not contain acids.

It seems to me the heart of a Christian is like a piece of litmus paper. Once it has absorbed the litmus of the Holy Spirit of God, when dipped into the circumstances of life that surround us each day, it is capable of reacting by condemning or giving assurance to the character of those surroundings. Without the litmus, it merely absorbs all without regard to quality or character - a sure formula for adverse reactions and conflicts.

So for all who go about “dipping” into the circumstances of life, I pray that you will listen to the Spirit of God in your heart.

Father grant us the courage to acknowledge our litmus paper hearts, and to react to its assurance and/or condemnation in whatsoever circumstances we find ourselves. Amen.