Keys to a Healthy Heart

3

More than ever before, people are interested in the condition of their hearts. Everyone wants a healthy heart. But there is another heart that is even more important. You also need a healthy spiritual heart—that core of your innermost spiritual being.

Solomon wrote, “Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life” (Proverbs 4:23). Scripture reveals the heart is the source of the emotions, intellect and will. It is the seat of the total personality—the source of all human actions.

This truth—that the heart is the wellspring, the source, the driving force or purpose of your life—is worth deep consideration. It should make us think seriously about what we allow our eyes to watch, our ears to hear, our thoughts to dwell and our hands to do. Things to which we devote our minds, thoughts and imaginations are what we become.

The goal of every Christian should be “destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God…taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5). God wants you not to pollute the wellspring of your life. Do not give yourself to the vain things in this world.

Jesus said, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth…. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven…for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:19-21). Treasures are highly prized. People set their hearts on what they treasure, so make sure you value the eternal and not merely the temporal. Seek to live your life with a biblically based value system.

What the Bible says about heart health is revealing: Scripture warns us to avoid a double heart: “They speak falsehood to one another; with flattering lips and with a double heart they speak” (Psalm 12:2); not to harden our hearts: “Do not harden your hearts as when they provoked Me, as in the day of trial in the wilderness” (Hebrews 3:8); not to sin by having a proud heart: “Haughty eyes and a proud heart and the lamp of the wicked, is sin” (Proverbs 21:4); to avoid an unbelieving heart: “Take care, brethren, that there not be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God” (Hebrews 3:12); and to confess sin and ask God for a clean heart: “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me” (Psalm 51:10). We should follow the example of David who cried out,  “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts” (Psalm 139:23).

We have a tendency to excuse our sinful actions, yet criticize others who fail. What we need to realize is that God looks at our hearts. Know that “every man’s way is right in his own eyes, But the LORD weighs the hearts” (Proverbs 21:2). God sees, not only the outside—the deeds we do, but the inside—the heart motives we have, and He weighs or evaluates them.

Another reason to guard your heart is that whatever is in your heart will eventually be exposed. Jesus said, “For each tree is known by its own fruit. For men do not gather figs from thorns, nor do they pick grapes from a briar bush” (Luke 6:44). He then explained, “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” (verse 45). Jesus meant that whatever you plant in your heart—will bear fruit in your life.

We live in an evil world. Following God’s command—“Do not love the world nor the things in the world” John summarized its content: “For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world” (1 John 5:15, 16). The pollution of sin is all around. Temptations abound, so be careful to protect your heart from contamination, which could ruin your life and destroy your testimony. Guard your heart, “for from it flow the springs of life.” 

So, how can you improve your heart health?

One way is to fortify your heart by faithfully spending time in God’s house, hearing God’s Word and singing praise with God’s people. The Coronavirus Pandemic has hindered the gathering of God’s people, but when we can, we should not forsake “our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near” (Hebrews 10:25).

Another way to strengthen your heart is by carving out a special time every day to spend with God, reading His Word, praying to Him and interceding for others. This daily “quiet time” will fortify your heart for the day ahead. For greatest effect, read and heed God’s Word consistently, methodically and prayerfully. Experience what the Psalmist did: “Your word I have treasured in my heart, that I may not sin against You” (Psalm 119:11).

A third way to a healthy heart is spiritual exercise: “Discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness; for bodily exercise is only of little profit, but godliness is profitable for all things, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come” (1 Timothy 4:7, 8). Put into practice what you know is good and right.

SO—Obey what Scripture says—Love what God values—and  do what Jesus would do, and you will be blessed with a healthy heart!

Author: Larry E. Clements

Follower of Christ, fortunate to be husband to Pat, father of 5, grandfather of 12, writer, associate pastor of Pauline Baptist Church

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