There are things that we can do to keep our physical hearts healthy. We can eat well, and we can do cardiovascular exercise like running. It is also important to get a check up done, so that we know how our hearts are doing physically. The heart pumps blood to the rest of our body which gives life to all of the other organs. Without the heart, without the blood then the other organs shut down. We are kaput.
Something similar goes on with the heart as the center of spiritual matters. Proverbs 4:23 reads, “Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.” Whether we like it or not, what is in our heart comes out of our actions. Your heart and the desires stored up in it will direct your life.
The reason we have to keep our hearts with all vigilance (or guard our hearts) is because there is a war going on for our hearts affection. The war is waged by so many different things in our lives, both good and bad. If we store up the good inside of our hearts, then not only will we be filled with life but we will have the opportunity to share life. God works in abundance. Storing our hearts up with Christ and following Him leads to becoming more like Him, leading to hearts full of compassion, grace, and self-sacrifice.
Storing up our hearts with other things though can lead to death. This may seem like an overstatement until you realize that the person who is addicted to meth has some deep wounds in his or her heart. Wounds are afflicted by others, but whether we like it or not, we have a choice to move towards healing or to store up resentment and bitterness and allow the wounds to grow deeper and bigger. Part of guarding our hearts is moving towards healing when its not healthy and hurting. Much like a person who has a heart condition can do things to make his or her heart stronger, so can we.
For me, this all starts with quiet time with God. I have to have time with Him so that He can reveal the places where my heart needs help. We all have those places. I have found that the hidden places are deep enough, that I don’t see them. Sometimes my friends don’t even see them. However, God does and through the Word and through prayer He reveals them. He doesn’t do this to be mean, but He does this so I can grow closer to Him. In the process of making us more like His Son, we must trust in Him all the more.
God wants to heal our hearts. He wants to grow our capacity for love and for life. What are some of the heart strengthening things that you can do daily?