Monday, February 13, 2017

The Heart of the Matter

UV 2199/10000 The Heart of the Matter
Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life
Proverbs 4 v 23

The heart of the matter is a matter of the heart. Just as the physical heart receives deoxygenated blood and pumps out oxygenated blood to all parts of the body, our emotional hearts sustains our whole being. The physical heart works round the clock and through our entire lifetime. Likewise, we experience feelings or emotions right through our lives. The emotional heart energises our lives. The uni-verse exhorts us to take good care of our emotional health. We need to preserve it through study and application of the word of God for only a fool trusts his own feelings or heart. The human hearts is described as being deceitful and desperately wicked. When we study the Word diligently and apply it to our hearts, the source of deceit, folly and wickedness is removed surgically as with a double edged sword. It is replaced with spiritual wisdom, the wisdom of the Lord who knows our hearts inside out. We need to constantly invite the Lord to study or search our hearts and point out to us any wicked thought or way or attitude in us. Jesus is the foremost of “heart specialists”. He said of the human heart that out of it proceeds evil thoughts, covetousness, murders, fornications, blasphemy, adulteries, false evidence. If our inmost being is constantly watched, monitored and cleansed by the Holy Spirit, there will be no room or scope for any of these issues of death to emerge. But the heart does not exist in a vacuum. If it is not filled with evil, it should be filled with good. It is again the work of the Holy Spirit to allow the issues of eternal life, the blessed life- the rivers of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, humility and self control. It is called a river as these issues will flow continually touching both banks or sides- the eternal on the far side and the earthly or the here and now on this side of life. Yes, the rivers of positive emotions will wax or wane depending on how much care we take to feed it with the Word and how much we yield to the Spirit of God.

In the decades since the nineties of the twentieth century, emotional intelligence is hailed as being far more indicative of success in all spheres than intelligence quotient. But mankind is yet to find a single effective way to enhance emotional intelligence. People are in the grip of various negative emotions and traits like anger, bitterness, jealousy, fear, hatred, greed, lust, deceit, low esteem, pride, discontentment and so on. These are the thorns and snares of the heart that scripture refers to. The thorns cause pain. The snares entrap us and keep us from fulfilling our God –given potential. By studying the Word and our hearts side by side, we can discover the spiritual medicine that we need to apply to whichever disease of the emotional heart we are suffering from.

The only thing that Jesus asks in return for eternal life is to give Him our hearts as His place of residence. When we surrender our heart to Him, we are surrendering our autonomy or sovereignty as individuals. He then makes it His concern and responsibility to remove the thorns and snares, to perfect our hearts unto God. Jesus is the Balm of Gilead to heal every ill of the human heart.

Prateep V Philip

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