Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Heart truth

Every month should be "Heart month" and the reason is simple...
we need our hearts every day (of our lives).

To get the best out of our hearts, we need to give the best to our hearts. In other words, if you want your heart to treat you well, treat it well too.

People usually talk about the hard truth as a difficult thing to pass on. Well, in this case, I might as well share the hard-Heart truth with us:
If you want it to take care of you, take care of it.
So much has been written about our heart - in the Bible, many other books and other media. I'd like to start with the World's bestseller - the Bible. Proverbs 4:23 advises us: Guard your heart more than anything else, because the source of your life flows from it.*                 

To successfully "guard" or protect your heart, you need to know it. The best way of knowing it is by having regular spiritual and physical check-ups. Spiritual check-ups are more difficult and intense...the Bible already warns us that: "The heart is deceitful above all things, and it is exceedingly perverse and corrupt and severely, mortally sick! Who can know it [perceive, understand, be acquainted with his own heart and mind]? (Jer 17:9 - Amplified)
So this is one check-up that we need to undertake regularly and rigorously because noone should walk around with a mortally sick heart and this one you have to do by yourself.

The physical one on the other hand is one that trained medical personnel can help you with. It is recommended that you have a full physical check-up regularly** (I'd say, at least once every year) whether or not you feel fine...as we all know "feelings" can be deceptive. 


Ultimately, the best way to take good care of your heart - spiritually and physically - is to do these 4 Es: Eat healthy things, Exercise regularly, Eliminate stress as much as possible and Examine your heart as often as possible. These Es are straightforward physically so I'll only break down the spiritual dimensions:
  1. The Bible is extremely healthy food. Just as obtains with physical food, we must eat and digest it regularly and properly to benefit from it (see Proverbs 3: 5-8).
  2. Acts 24:16 has this to say about exercise: I always exercise and discipline myself [mortifying my body, deadening my carnal affections, bodily appetites, and worldly desires, endeavoring in all respects] to have a clear (unshaken, blameless) conscience, void of offense toward God and toward men. (Amplified). Another way to exercise your heart is by letting the love of God flow through you and extending that love to others; yes, love your neighbours as you love yourself. Remember, God never asked us to like everyone; He only commanded that we love everyone and when I look around me, that sure takes some effort - who won't call that exercise?
  3. To eliminate stress, we must avoid fretting, only then will we have rest in the Lord. Philippians 4: 6-7 advises: "Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition (definite requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God. And God's peace [shall be yours, that tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and being content with its earthly lot of whatever sort that is, that peace] which transcends all understanding shall garrison and mount guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. (Amplified)
  4. When it comes to examining our hearts, the best person(s) to do that are you & God...even if you lie to yourself, God won't. Here are 2 sets of verses that guide us on how and why we need to examine ourselves and invite God to examine our hearts:
2 Cor 13:5 - Examine and test and evaluate your own selves to see whether you are holding to your   faith and showing the proper fruits of it. Test and prove yourselves [not Christ]. Do you not yourselves realize and know [thoroughly by an ever-increasing experience] that Jesus Christ is in you--unless you are [counterfeits] disapproved on trial and rejected?*** 
Gal 6:4 - But let every person carefully scrutinize and examine and test his own conduct and his own work. He can then have the personal satisfaction and joy of doing something commendable [in itself alone] without [resorting to] boastful comparison with his neighbor.***
Ps 26:2 - Examine me, O Lord, and prove me; test my heart and my mind.***
Ps 139:23 - Search me [thoroughly], O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts!***
One more thing: you can exercise your heart by sharing this "Heart truth" with others...
 
References:
*God's Word Translation
**http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/007462.htm
***Amplified Bible

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