Matters of the Heart

My tongue is truly not my problem … the most frustrating challenge that I face in daily life is the outrageous opinions of my heart. Oh … it’s true! I can’t deny that I often say the wrong thing … or talk out of turn … or criticize when I should encourage … or complain rather than just stay quiet.

But my tongue is actually not the worst part of me … I confess … it is my heart.

“Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life.” – Proverbs 4:23

My heart has the power to determine whether my life is a swamp or a spring. A swamp sadly begets no life and is always stagnant and disease-ridden. A spring is filled with fresh water and embraces the constant movement and growth of new life.

A spring feeds … a swamp stinks.

So many things attack my unsuspecting and unguarded heart during the course of a day. I am insecure over someone’s response to me so I withdraw and become cool in conversations.

I interpret well-meaning input as unsolicited criticism and my heart burns with self-justified but quiet anger.

I become frustrated over someone’s lack of attention to what I deem as important and so my heart grows raw with the rug burn of my fractious soul.

I bite rather than bless. I react rather than respond. I dig rather than encourage.

“My heart was hot within me, while I was musing the fire burned; then I spoke with my tongue.” – Psalm 39:3

Apparently, the Psalmist dealt with some of the same life issues that I deal with.

Have I mentioned lately that my tongue is not my greatest challenge in life? My greatest battle in life definitely happens in the quiet and private place of my heart.

I foolishly think that I can hide the malady that has infested the deepest and inner part of me but that is not true. When I open my mouth and say, “A-h- h-h ..” … there it is … halitosis of the heart in all of its repugnant glory!

The virus has spread from a quiet and hidden part of me to a keenly noticeable place. The contamination does not stay silent for long. I have been known to verbally vomit a time or two in my life … and where did it start? Why … in my heart, of course.

The germs of heart disease are highly contagious and are spread when I sneeze my pain and opinion upon the innocence of others.

I have discovered that daily I am a candidate for a heart transplant. I have found that the putrid condition of my heart can only be cured by the Greatest Physician of all time.

And so I go to Him. I wait in the office of prayer … and I ponder His advice … His wisdom … His diagnosis … His cure.

“Then He taught me and said to me, ‘Let your heart hold fast to my words; keep my commandments and live.” – Proverbs 4:4

His Words have the power to heal my indecisive, disease-infested, weak and whining heart.

Before a word passes through my lips, I must submit my heart to Him and to all that He is. When fears assail … and storms torment … and people disappoint … and criticism is rampant … I must bow my heart at His beautiful feet.

“From the end of the earth I call to You when my heart is overwhelmed; lead me to the Rock that is higher than I.” – Psalm 61:2

I really don’t want to be infected by the opinion of my heart … I want to be healed by the wisdom of His heart.

I truly don’t desire to be placed in quarantine due to the plague of bitterness that attacks my heart … I want to be cleansed by the ointment of His Holy breath upon my life.

Oh! How I long to walk in joy and peace rather than in judgment or in criticism! I must linger under the microscope of His Word.

Is your heart at all like mine? Have you found it necessary to treat the disorder that has grown in epidemic proportions in your heart?

Our hearts were always meant to be the most beautiful and endearing part of our lives. God, the Father, created our hearts so that we could love others completely and enthusiastically and in order to quietly but firmly demonstrate mercy and compassion to the undeserving world around us. We were given a heart so that we would show a redeeming and precious attitude of unselfish behavior and to simply become more like Jesus.

When our hearts reflect His character and His wisdom … our tongues also become a healing stream to the world around us.

“A soothing tongue is a tree of life …” – Proverbs 15:4

Our words become a beautiful and breathtaking masterpiece when our hearts are in complete synchronization with the heart of the Father.

“Like apples of gold in settings of silver is a word spoken in right circumstances.” – Proverbs 25:11

And so this day, and every day, I come to the One Who is able to go to the heart of my issues and to heal my innermost parts. This day and every day, I lay myself down in the operating room of His Holy Spirit and allow a healing work to take place in the deep and dark places of me.

And as He heals my heart … my tongue becomes an eternal pen of virtue and compassion that tells the story of grace.

When I allow my Savior to remove that which is rotten and spoiled in my life, my tongue then becomes a melodious instrument that only sings heaven’s high praise.

My heart is committed to Him and my tongue is submitted to Him. I no longer feel the frightful urge to spew venom on the object of my pain but I am able to bless … and to restore … and to encourage … and to bring life.

I am able to speak with His words and to minister with His heart. I have become the woman that He desires that I should be.

“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my rock and my Redeemer.” – Psalm 19:14
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