February may be one of the shortest months of the year, but it has been so impactful this far. From previous posts, love has been the overarching theme. The Weekly Soap touched on how we should love God, and love others the way we love ourselves (Matthew 22:34-40). The Song of the Week gave us “Wild” , a song about the overwhelming love of God.
So I guess my question now is:
How’s your heart?
With the outpouring of love or the opposite for the past couple of days, how are you doing? Are you treating yourself? Are you giving love? Receiving it? Whatever your status, let’s talk about what’s in your heart.
Take a minute and think. How many times have you heard the phrase “follow your heart”? Is following your heart always the best decision? Be honest.
As a PK, my parents taught me to hug every person in the church as soon as I came in. I had no issue carrying out this task because it was something I loved to do. I’d hug everyone so tightly that you could feel the love transferred from me. As I grew older, hugging lost its luster. Before I even entered through the doors, I wished no one would come up to me at all. I didn’t want to fake the funk, nor did I want to even attempt it. Soon after, my mood followed this same pattern.
It bounced from grumpiness to anger to frustration and back again. I wanted no parts of what was going on in service. It became so bad that I had soured towards people in my church. I remember making it my mission to avoid others. By ducking into the bathroom or occupying myself with technical work, it allowed me to escape hugging people. This went on for years. Every Sunday, I continued to spiral in this apathetic mood towards the church and my faith.
But, I couldn’t recognize how far I was falling down the pit because my heart kept telling me I was right.
God had to put me in a place where I had to run a heart check on myself. After many heartbreaks and unnecessary sacrifices, my mother preached one Sunday from Jeremiah 17:9-10 (NIV):
9 The heart is deceitful above all things
and beyond cure.
Who can understand it?
10 “I the Lord search the heart
and examine the mind,
to reward each person according to their conduct,
according to what their deeds deserve.”
These two verses alone hit me like a ton of bricks. Immediately I felt so much conviction, but a revelation on why my life produced such ugly results.
Our fleshly heart is sick and “beyond cure” meaning it can lead us to believe that the same can of Coke that can clean toilets is also good enough for us to drink (no shade to Coca-Cola products). Now, I’m not saying that your choice of drink is wrong, but our heart’s desire may not always match what is best for us. We know that Coke tastes good. We know what it can do, but if we continue to drink it, there are adverse effects: diabetes, obesity, even tooth decay. Like verse 10, the Lord gives us the reward of our conduct; for every action, there is a reaction for what your heart carries out.
Yet, the only cure for our sick heart is God.
When we have the word of God in our hearts, it extends our life (Proverbs 3:1-2), we are blessed (Psalms 119:2), and He gives us the desires of our heart when we align with Him (Psalms 37:4).
So instead of trusting my heart, I had to trust in God (Proverbs 3:5-6). Hardening my heart towards my church family or even acts of love did a disservice to me and my creator. It’s a commandment to love one another, and I wasn’t following through. I asked for forgiveness from God and a repentant heart, so it would make me new (Ezekiel 36:26). I had no reason to feel bitterness, especially when no one had provoked me. But, a change like this doesn’t come overnight. It takes an effort to turn away from a wrongful path. Joel 2:12 says that “return to me will all your heart with fasting, weeping and mourning.”
After all this, I hope that you run some diagnostics on your heart. Ask God to reveal what hides in your heart. Pray that what you desire in your heart matches the will of God. If you spiral or become malicious towards someone or something, ask yourself:
How’s your heart?
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