How is your heart? Is it healthy? Do you make effort in your diet so that what you are eating is beneficial to your heart? Or do you think you are still too young to be concerned about the health of your heart? Do you ever read nutrition labels on products before purchasing them? A lot of information can be gathered in that short nutrition label and it will quickly tell the consumer if the product will be beneficial or harmful to them. For instance, the very first ingredient listed is the majority of what is in the product. So if the very first ingredient is sugar, it would be wise to put that product back on the shelf! Or if the very first ingredient is water then it may be safe to read on.
What if I were to ask you about the health of your internal heart? The internal heart consists of your mind, soul, thoughts, words, actions, and the very depth of our beings, ultimately our Spirit. It is very natural for us to harbor dark, unhealthy feelings, thoughts, or emotions in our hearts because we are human. Plainly put, it is just that, we are human. Bottom line. Sometimes I wish I wasn’t so human and sometimes I even wish others weren’t so human! The good news is that in spite of our humanness, God still loves us and He still sent Jesus to be the final sacrifice for each one of us. This free blessing of love, grace, and mercy should be what compels us to have love, grace, and mercy towards ourselves and others.
It isn’t always that easy though, is it? It isn’t always so easy to have love, grace or mercy towards ourselves or others. At the same time though God doesn’t want us to remain the same, he wants us to change. He wants us to become more like him, more like his son Jesus. He wants us to be “more than conquerors” (Romans 8: 35-38). Again, in our humanness this isn’t something we can do on our own. We begin by asking God what is it that He wants to change within us. What does He want to cleanse from our hearts? We can humble ourselves and recognize that we need His help; we need the Holy Spirit to help us with something this big. Because when you have been hurt by an abuser or unprotected by someone who was neglectful or even hurt by someone who was simply spreading gossip around about you, it is hard to let go of the ugly feelings those hurts leave behind. So letting God change us or cleanse our hearts isn’t always for the other persons, it brings us to freedom because we don’t have to carry the heavy weight of those feelings any longer. Keeping our physical hearts healthy requires a regimen of eating well and consistent exercise. So it is the same with keeping our spiritual hearts healthy. We can release them to the hands of Jesus, ask the Holy Spirit for wisdom and discernment and for help focusing on the things that God wants to grow in our hearts, while always looking to the Absolute Truth, God’s word for even more guidance, Philippians 4:8 and Galatians 5:22-26. Don’t forget, to keep a physical heart healthy it requires a consistent plan and a consistent plan will also be required to keep your spiritual heart healthy! J