Today I want to talk to you about your heart. My heart? The last time I went to the check-up, it struck. I can run, play tennis ... No, I am not concerned with the body organ in your chest that pumps blood, but with the heart, which appears more than 90 times in the Book of Proverbs. Well, if you want to talk about the heart, do it, but I don't think it's so important - there must be something more important in Christian life that we can discuss. Why don't you tell me about God's blessings, His laws, obedience, prophecies and ... Wait and see! Just as your physical heart is absolutely vital, so is your inner heart. In fact, it is so important that God commands you to protect it. That is a top priority. Above all, protect your heart (Proverbs 4,23; New Life). So, we should take good care of it. Ah, now I understand what you want to tell me. I'm not supposed to lose control of my moods and feelings. I know. I am constantly working on my self-control and well, I scold every now and then - especially in traffic - but otherwise, I think, I have a good grip on it. Unfortunately, they still haven't understood me. When Solomon wrote about our hearts, he was concerned with far more important things than swearwords or gutter language. It was about the influence of our hearts. Our hearts are identified in the Bible as the source of our hatred and anger. Of course, that also affects me. In fact, much more comes from our hearts: our desires, our motives, our intentions, our preferences, our dreams, our desires, our hopes, our fears, our greed, our creativity, our desires, our envy - really everything we are , has its origin in our hearts. Just as our physical heart is in the center of our body, so is our spiritual heart the center and the core of our entire being. Jesus Christ paid great attention to the heart. He said, Because your heart always determines what you say. A good person speaks good words from a good heart and a bad person speaks bad words from a bad heart (Matthew 12,34-35; New Life). Okay, so you want to tell me that my heart is like a source of a river. A river is wide and long and deep, but its source is a spring up in the mountains, isn't it?
Leading the way for life
Right! Our normal heart has a direct effect on every single area of our body, as it pumps blood through the arteries and also through the many kilometers of blood vessels and thereby maintains our vital functions. The inner heart, on the other hand, guides our way of life. Think of all the things you believe in, your deepest beliefs (Rom 10,9-10), the things that changed your life - they all come from somewhere in the depths of your heart (Proverbs 20,5). In your heart you ask yourself questions like: Why am I living? What's the meaning of my life? Why do I get up in the morning? Why am I who and what I am? Why am I different from my dog? Do you understand what I want to say? Your heart makes you who you are. Your heart is you. Your heart is decisive for your very deep, true self. Yes, you can hide your heart and put on masks because you don't want others to recognize what you really think, but that doesn't change who we are in our deepest depths of our inner self, now see why our hearts are so important is? God tells you and me and all of us that everyone is responsible for taking care of their hearts. But why on my heart? The second part of Proverbs 4,23 gives the answer: because your heart influences your whole life (New life). Or as the Message Bible says: Take care of your thoughts, because your thoughts determine your life (freely translated). So that's where it all starts? As one seed of a tree contains the whole tree and potentially a forest, is my whole life also contained in my heart? Yes it is. Our whole life unfolds from our hearts, whoever we are in our hearts will show up sooner or later in our behavior. How we behave has an invisible origin - usually long before we finally do it. Our deeds are really the belated announcements of where we have been for so long. Have you ever said: I don't know how it came about me. And yet you did it. The truth is that you have been thinking about it for a long time and when the opportunity suddenly came, you did it. Today's thoughts are tomorrow's actions and consequences. What is still jealousy today will be a tantrum tomorrow. What is narrow-minded zeal today will become a hate crime tomorrow. What is anger today is abuse tomorrow. What is desire today is adultery tomorrow. What is greed today is embezzlement tomorrow. What is to blame today is afraid of tomorrow.
1 Proverbs 4,23 teaches us that our behavior comes from within, from a hidden source, our heart. That is the driving force behind all our actions and words; As he thinks in his heart, he is (Proverbs 23,7, freely translated from the Amplified Bible). What comes from our hearts is shown in our interrelation to everything that concerns our environment. It reminds me of an iceberg. Yes, exactly, because our behavior is just the tip of the iceberg. In fact, it arises in the invisible part of ourselves. And the huge part of the iceberg that is under the surface of the water contains the sum of all our years - even since we were conceived. I haven't mentioned one important thing yet. Jesus lives in our hearts through the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 3,17). God is constantly working in our hearts to take the shape of Jesus Christ. But over the years we have done a lot of damage to our hearts and every day we are bombarded with thoughts. Therefore it takes a lot of time. It is a slow process to be dressed in the shape of Jesus.
So I leave it to God and he will fix everything? It does not work that way again. God is actively at your side and asks you to do your part. And how should I do that? What is my share? How should I pay attention to my heart? Even at the beginning it is necessary to control one's behavior. For example, if you notice how you behave un-christianly toward someone, you should press the pause button and consider who you are in Jesus Christ and claim His grace.
2 As a father and grandfather, I learned - and it usually works very well - to calm a crying baby by drawing attention to something else. It almost always works right away. (It's like buttoning up a shirt. Your heart determines which button comes first in which buttonhole. Our behavior then simply continues until the end. If the first button is set incorrectly, everything is wrong!) I think the explanation is good ! But it is difficult. Whenever I try again and again and clench my teeth to be like Jesus; I do not succeed. It's not about trying and hard work. It's about the real life of Jesus Christ that shows through us. The Holy Spirit is ready to help us control and discard our bad thoughts as they try to get into our hearts. If a wrong thought occurs, keep the door locked so that it cannot enter. You are not helplessly at the mercy of your thoughts floating around in your head. With these weapons we conquer reluctant thoughts and teach them to obey Christ (2 Corinthians 10,5 NL).
Don't leave the door unguarded. You have everything you need to live a godly life - you have the equipment that enables you to capture the thoughts that do not belong in your heart (2 Peter 1,3:4). I also encourage you to make Ephesians 3,16 your personal life prayer. In it Paul asks that God gives you the strength from his great wealth to become strong internally through his spirit. Grow through the constant assurance and realization of your father's love and care in every area of your life. Take care of your heart. Guard it. Protect it. Pay attention to your thoughts. Are you saying that I am responsible? You have it and you can take it over.
by Gordon Green
1 Max Lucado. A love worth giving. Page 88.
2 Grace is not just about undeserved favor; it is divine ability for daily life (2 Corinthians 12,9).