I Had Ought in My Heart

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I laid down to go to sleep last night and prayed: “Lord, forgive me. I had ought in my heart today. Thank you for helping me recognize it, deal with it, and remove it…”


Jesus said, “And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses” (Mark 11:25). You’ve heard me say it before, but it’s worth repeating: ought means any little thing.

I repeat: any. little. thing.

This is often how our day goes south (or sour, depending on how far you let it go). It’s not usually the BIG things that break us down. It’s every little thing. [click to tweet]

Mine started the night before when I got irritated at myself for forgetting something semi-important. Then I allowed more “ought” in my heart because my morning and my plans were not jiving with my husband’s way of doing things. But the real problem is that once you let a little thing (ought) remain in your heart, it grows. And suddenly, it’s not ONE little thing, but EVERY little thing that gets on your nerves, steals your joy, and causes you to act completely un-Christ-like.

It’s little things like:

“They ought to have done [fill-in-the-blank]…” or

“They ought not to have done [such-and-such]…”

Or simply fill in the “They” with an “I” and watch the devil work his condemnation magic. This is why Jesus said, “If you have ought in your heart, forgive.” It’s not worth carrying around.


If you forget to deal with your “ought” when it happens, whatever you do, don’t go to bed with it! Your irritations will only fester overnight and show up the next day… and the next day… and the next… until you deal with it.

The Bible says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). It really is that simple. God just asks that we confess it. In doing so, we are acknowledging our need for Him, our recognition of wrong, and our desire to do right.

And if you feel it’s necessary, you can name every little “ought” –but it’s not required. Simply tell the Lord you realize you had ought in your heart and ask Him to forgive you. He’s so faithful to forgive AND cleanse your heart of every. little. thing.

But it starts with you. Pay attention to the little irritations and sins. Don’t harbor them. Release them to God.

These two lessons will take you far.

Share with me: What’s the hardest part about dealing with the little things?

Comments (4)
  • June McLaren

    Oh, Daphne! This is so true … and such a vital lesson to hear … over and over again! Tonight I was still chewing over problems I had ordering from a certain web site — ugly darkness in my soul. THEN, I came across your message — most timely! I may be 72, but I still need good teaching with lots of repetition. Thank you for proving yourself faithful! I now have sunshine in my soul — sooooooooooooo much better than the darkness!

    • http://www.mirrorministries.org/ Daphne Delay

      I’m only 44, but my guess is there will always be things we must repeat and apply to maintain our spiritual maturity and witness. Thanks for being so transparent!

  • Rise

    The hardest part of dealing with the little things is recognizing them before they “snowball”!

    • http://www.mirrorministries.org/ Daphne Delay

      very true!