Our hearts are very important organs in our body, and we can do lots of things to maintain heart health. It’s also important to think about our hearts in a spiritual context and the Bible has some very helpful verses for us to consider about our hearts. Here are a few key verses to ponder:
- Proverbs 4:23: “Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life.”
- Luke 6:45: “The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart.”
- Matt 6:21: “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
- Proverbs 3:5: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding.”
- Psalm 73:26: “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”
In addition to these verses, there are some really interesting people in the Bible who had heart problems because of their choices, words and behaviors. For example, in Mark 10:17-27, we read about a rich young ruler who asked Jesus what he needed to do to receive eternal life. Jesus told him to sell all of his possessions, give the money to the poor and come and follow Jesus. The young man was discouraged with His answer and left Jesus. It seems to me that the young man’s wealth owned his heart more than he loved Jesus and wanted to follow him.
In Matthew 27:18, we see another interesting example of a heart problem in relation to the Jewish leaders who brought Jesus to Pilate to be judged. In this verse, we see that Pilate recognized the motive of the Jewish leaders pertaining to Jesus. What they were saying and asking from Pilate was grounded in the envy they had in their hearts toward Jesus.
In the book of Jonah, we read about Jonah running away from God’s instructions to him. Ultimately, Jonah wanted God to destroy Nineveh because he saw them as wicked people. He also knew that God is merciful and forgiving but he didn’t want the Ninevites to have a chance to escape God’s judgment. Consequently, Jonah did the opposite of what God said. In Jonah’s heart, there was revenge, anger, judgment and a deficiency of mercy. There are lots more examples of people in the Bible who had heart problems, including Moses, David, Sarah, Peter, Judas and loads more.
I’m bringing this to your attention because I think that we aren’t much different than the people in the Bible. I know that we also have lots of the same heart problems and these get displayed or revealed by our words, actions and choices throughout our daily living. To this end, I don’t think it’s helpful to do the shame thing because I think that shame and genuine love are incompatible. I also don’t think it’s helpful to try and modify our behaviors without looking at the root causes in our hearts. Once we begin to take stock of what’s in our hearts, with truth from Holy Spirit, then we can ask for divine help to work in our hearts.
Perhaps it would also be constructive every day to pray Psalm 51:10, “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” Let’s give God access to our hearts, so that we can do life from a clean and healthy heart.