23 Above all else, guard your heart,
for everything you do flows from it.
Our hearts are fragile and unfortunately pain is not something anyone can escape. At some point or another in your life, you will experience broken relationships. This is a direct effect from living in a broken world that is full of sin.
People who have been diagnosed with serious heart conditions need to change their unhealthy habits to help improve their overall heart health. Those that are diagnosed with ‘hardening or blockage or the arteries’ have recurring heart examinations with their doctors.
Just as a person with a heart problem diagnosed by a medical professional has to monitor their condition and identify any potential problematic areas, so should we on a spiritual level.
Proverbs 4:23 tells us to guard our heart that everything in life flows from it.
Think about that for a moment– EVERYTHING flows from it.
That means the good, the bad, the bitter, the joy, the pride and selfishness, and the love or hatred that comes out through our actions and words. To live a truly joyful and blessed life– we need to intentionally examine our hearts (with God’s help) to identify any areas in which we need to grow and change.
Lamentations 3:40 Let us search out and examine our ways, And turn back to the Lord;
Examine your heart and pray– ask God to show you the areas in which need attention. Ask Him for discernment with your actions and words, that He would expose to you when you are reacting out of the flesh and not according to His will.
Psalm 26:2 NIV Test me, Lord, and try me, examine my heart and my mind;
Take a look at these 8 potentially problematic areas in our hearts when examining our spiritual health
- Pride: Do I focus on how much I’ve been wronged? Do I have a problem admitting my faults?
- Faultfinding: Do I rehearse the faults of others in my life?
- Avoidance: Do I avoid being around people with whom I have conflict?
- Silence: Do I shut down and refuse to speak about my problems or feelings in a healthy way?
- Isolation: Do I withdraw from those around me emotionally?
- Unfaithfulness: Do I worry and fret of circumstances outside of my control?
- Hopelessness: Do I lack faith that God can and will work out my situation?
- Resentment/Bitterness: Do I hold on to my anger and hurt until it turns into resentment or bitterness towards the one who the conflict is with?
The heart examination only works if you are truthful with yourself and God about your feelings and results from ‘your exam’. Finding problematic areas in your heart does not mean you are a bad person or even that God is displeased with you. The condition of our heart and circumstances never surprise God– nor change His love for us.
True freedom and happiness in Christ comes when we acknowledge our problematic areas and seek to change them. Pulling each bad habit, thought, or opposition to God’s Word and will out by its roots and planting new healthy habits; creating new root systems based on His word.
Psalm 139: 23-24 NIV Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. 24 See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
Thank you Father for giving Your direction and help throughout every day of our lives. Lord, it is because of You and You alone that I am able to share Your love and truth with others. These words are not mine but Yours and I pray that all the glory be brought to Your kingdom. Lord I confess that I have not put much thought into my heart health on a spiritual level, forgive me God, for I only want to please You. Help me to search my heart Lord and expose to me problematic areas. Show me where I am lacking and help me to seek and understand Your truth and will. Lord, I pray You will guard my heart and give me discernment and peace, so that I will not hold on to hurt or anger and allow it to take root in my life. I pray for Your strength to help me to change from the inside out; owning my faults, and seeking to make each right according to Your will. In Jesus mighty name I pray