A sick heart affects every part of the body. The heart is a muscle the size of “your fist” but it is considered one of the “highest ranking organs” of the body. Its job is to take the oxygen we breathe in and pump oxygenated blood throughout the body from the top of our heads to the tips of our toes. Then its job is to take the de-oxygenated blood back to the heart and send it to the lungs to be re-oxygenated (cleaned up) and then send it out again all over the body. The heart usually gets in trouble when there is a “blockage” that would hinder the flow of blood. This blockage can create many problems that affect the “WHOLE BODY!”
Science is superb in the physical understanding of the function and problems with the heart. There are great advances in medicine for healing and fixing the heart and preventative information that can be used to keep the heart healthy. What science doesn’t address is the “SPIRITUAL SIDE OF THE HEART.”
The Bible is the source for addressing the SPIRITUAL HEART. It refers to the heart 830 times in 762 verses and it is “supreme” in addressing the spiritual function of the heart. In Proverbs 27:19 it tells us, “As water reflects a face, so a man’s HEART reflects the man.” The spiritual heart tells us all about the man. The Bible spells out the extreme importance of the condition of the heart, its purpose and how to keep the heart “spiritually healthy”.
Twenty years ago when we were introduced to a parenting Bible study called “Growing Kids God’s Way,” it stressed the importance of training our kids’ HEARTS. Shaping them by training them to understand Scripture and the “moral reason why” we taught certain things. For example, we grabbed on to the instruction of teaching our kids at a young age the importance of “looking people in the eye” when they were talking to someone or being spoken to by someone. There is no specific Scripture that addresses “eye contact” in the Bible, but giving someone eye contact, when you are talking, communicates your “value of them and it gives respect”. That principle is taught throughout the Bible. We were training the heart by giving the “Biblical reason” why they should honor someone by looking them in the eye.
The Bible does directly address an area of the HEART that is VITAL to carrying “OXYGEN” and keeping you healthy for the span of your life. It is found in Matthew 22:37, “Love the Lord your God with all your HEART, with all your SOUL and with all your MIND.” We are to love God above all things–money, success and, for me, it would be…above my “children.” That is where I am challenged! Side note: There is something about me and being a mother that I have to constantly keep in check in order to keep my “kids” from being an idol in my life. Anything is considered an idol, if it comes before God. Jesus points out in Scripture in Luke 12:34, “Where your treasure is there your HEART will be also.” So in order to fulfill “loving God with all my HEART”, I have to check what I treasure daily. I can get off on the wrong road IN a “SKINNY MINUTE!”
One of the most helpful and meaningful Scriptures to me growing up, and it is to this day, is 1 Samuel 16:7 where it says that man looks at the outward appearance to judge but God looks at the HEART! God looks at our intent and motives which drive all our actions and thoughts! That is sobering to me and it is something that on the “Back 9” I am daily looking at because “the world” more than ever promotes the outward appearance.
Funny, Scripture even tells us that “out of the overflow of the mouth, the HEART speaks!” This in itself CONVICTS me personally on a daily basis. I have to Daily take an inward evaluation and see where I might have a “blockage” that would give me a “spiritual heart attack!” Stopping to think about my words which reflect my actions. To know HOW I STAND in God’s sight. After all, a thought precedes a word and an action. So behavior starts in the HEART AND MIND.
I don’t think there is anyone alive that would want a physical hardening of the heart or a spiritual heart of stone. God promises in Ezekiel 36:26, “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you. I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.”
I love Henry Ward Beecher’s quote, “It is the HEART that makes the man rich. He is rich according to what he IS, not according to what he does.”