TOTAL CHRISTIAN LIFE MINISTRY

How is Your Heart?

by Cynthia Jennings on December 2, 2020
I was listening to the radio one day and caught the end of a program. The person ended the program with the words “how is your heart?” That statemen made me think. People usually ask “how are you doing?” But I’ve rarely heard someone ask how is your heart?

When people ask how are you doing, the usual response is on the surface and only what we want them to hear. But what if someone went deeper into what really matters in life---asking “how is your heart?”

I know most of us don’t really want to share the condition of our heart. We often think life is too busy to get real. Pain is often too deep thus we don’t allow not even a sliver to creep out. Is living on the surface with our own or each other’s feelings more bearable…..more socially acceptable? The thing with living on the surface is that we’re ignoring what God wants us to give serious attention to; that is the state of our heart.

Proverbs 4:23 (ESV)tells us to “Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.” Keep your heart with vigilance means to guard your heart above all else. To some you may believe this to mean we’re supposed to protect ourselves from anything that might hurt us, not being vulnerable, not showing our weakness or even not admitting our sins to one another. This belief results in us guarding the wrong thing and what we’re really doing is wearing a mask, thus it keeps us isolated and struggling alone.

I understand it is hard to trust that another person will kindly handle our imperfections. I know how it feels for someone to shy away from you because they are embarrassed by “your” mess. When this happens it’s very tempting to hide away and resist connecting with anyone for fear of getting hurt or disappointed. Can you relate? However, this should not keep us from biblically guarding our heart. That is paying attention to the state or condition of our heart.

The “heart” in a biblical context, refers to the “seat of our appetites, emotions, passions, and moral character. To guard our heart and be aware of the state of our heart, we have to be cognizant of our longings, desires, dreams, wants, temptations, influences and motives. When guarding our heart we can’t just choose to guard a portion, we must be intentional in guarding all of it in its totality.

When guarding the heart, we have to become more conscious of everything that goes in. Because what goes in is what comes out. We must be aware of the connection between the influence on our lives and on our actions.

Whether we admit it or not we need the help of others in the process of guarding our heart. But we also need to learn how to use discernment in choosing with whom we share our heart.
I thank and praise God that He cares about what is going on inside my heart because He knows it will shape my outer life. I have had to ask God for forgiveness for times I forsook guarding what goes into my heart and to allow me to be real with myself so that I could make the necessary changes as to be able to guard the heart God has given me to steward.


PEARLStoPONDER: Has anyone asked you how is your heart? I’m asking you today, how is your heart?
 
Psalm 51:10--Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me,

Psalm 73:26--My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
Proverbs 4:23-27--Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.24 Put away from you crooked speech, and put devious talk far from you.25 Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you.26 Ponder the path of your feet ;then all your ways will be sure.27 Do not swerve to the right or to the left; turn your foot away from evil.

Luke 6:45--The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.

James 5:16--Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.
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