How’s your heart? Healthy, I hope, both physically and spiritually.
Physically, I’ve been taking deliberate steps to increase my heart’s health because I want to live well and long. I walk for 45 minutes several times each week, and I work out at a fitness center when I’m not traveling. My intentional efforts are paying off:I have greater stamina, able to walk longer distances sometimes carrying large loads, without panting and puffing.
Spiritually, the same principle applies. Enjoying a spiritually healthy heart means being intentional about doing things that promote such health. The main exercise involves filling it with God’s Word. There are several benefits for doing so:
- I’m able to discern right from wrong. (Psalm 37:30 – “The godly offer good counsel; they know what is right from wrong.”)
- I become a competent people-helper. (Psalm 37:30)
- I stay on a path that pleases God. (Psa. 37: 31 – “They fill their hearts with God’s law, so they will never slip from his path”; Psa. 44:18 – “Our hearts have not deserted you. We have not strayed from your path.”)
- I find joy in doing God’s will. (Psalm 40:8 – “I take joy in doing your will, my God, for your law is written on my heart.”)
- I’m able to walk in obedience to God’s ways. (Job 23:12 – “I have not departed from his commands but have treasured his word in my heart.”)
When our spiritual health wanes or fails, chances are pretty good that we’re feeding our hearts with stuff that isn’t good for us such as steamy romance novels, gossip, lustful thoughts, envy, or pride. Feeding on the Word has probably become a meaningless ritual or duty, or fallen by the wayside altogether.
We can prevent unnecessary pain and problems in life if we maintain a healthy diet of feeding on God’s Word. Fill our hearts with it. Realize its value to us, and make it a daily priority.
How do you maintain a spiritually healthy heart?