Not too long ago we had a sleepover with our granddaughter, Harper. She is just five years old, so right now she thinks her Mema and Bapa are really special! I am cherishing every moment because I know the days of her running and jumping in my arms are numbered. On this particular weekend the weather was beautiful, and we love to be outside. Harper is learning to ride her bike, so we headed to the park to practice on the concrete walking path.
Like most five-year-olds, she is quite independent. As she was navigating the twists and turns, her Bapa (a.k.a., grandpa) was holding onto the back of the bicycle. Harper did not appreciate the help though it was desperately needed. She became annoyed and impulsively spouted her frustration. Being an educator, I saw this as a teachable moment! It was time for a heart-to-heart.
I can remember getting down, looking into her eyes, and calmly telling her that I knew what came out of her mouth was not what was in her heart because her heart was good. While I know five-year-olds have a limited ability to reason, she seemed to understand as her eyes welled up with tears, and she calmed down. She needed to be reminded of the goodness within her, a message all of us need to remember.
I’m not sure any of us think about our hearts enough. I know I don’t. Do we really put enough value on the state of our heart? Do we protect it, guard it, and nourish it? Solomon warned us in Proverbs 4 to guard our heart ABOVE ALL ELSE for it determines the course of our lives (4:23). In fact, our hearts impact our speech (4:24), what we look at (4:25), and where we walk (4:26-27). Consider what Jesus had to say on this matter.
A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. What you say flows from what is in your heart. Luke 6:45
Maybe it’s time we all had a heart-to-heart with ourselves. What is coming out of our mouths? What are we spending our timing doing? Where is our focus? What is consuming our thoughts? The answer to these questions is ultimately a reflection of our heart. If we don’t like the answers, it’s a heart problem. Thank goodness heart problems can be fixed.
Like Harper, let me remind you of an important truth. If Jesus is in your heart, your heart is good. You are blessed when your heart is pure and committed to God. Only then will we receive the most wonderful reward—intimacy with our Heavenly Father.
God blesses those whose hearts are pure, for they will see God. Matthew 5:8
If you are like me, you desire a pure heart but may feel you have a long way to go. Don’t be discouraged. Don’t think it is unobtainable. The same covenant God made with Israel He makes with us.
And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart. And I will put my Spirit in you so that you will follow my decrees and be careful to obey my regulations. Ezekiel 36:26-27
When Jesus comes into our hearts, it changes us one day at a time as we allow His Spirit full access.
Since you have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from him, throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy. Ephesians 4:21-24
Don’t miss a key imperative in this verse. We must LET the Spirit renew our hearts. Renewal doesn’t happen without our cooperation. A fully committed heart takes intentionality. Over the years I have prayed for wisdom and discernment. I have spent time in Bible study and prayer. All of these are important. However, I fear I have failed to focus enough on my heart. We can have all the knowledge in the world, but without a heart to love, without a heart to serve, and without a heart to obey, we will never experience the oneness with God Jesus that talks about (John 17:20-26).
David understood this. He failed miserably, but God still called him “a man after my own heart” (Acts 13:22). Why? Because David knew he had a heart problem. He recognized his need to be transformed and understood God was the answer. David asked God to change his heart.
Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Psalm 51:10
God used David mightily, but David had to deal with his heart issue first. David took his heart condition seriously, and we should do the same. The next time you have your heart-to-heart (and I hope it is soon), you might be tempted to focus on your shortcomings. Please remind yourself of the goodness within you.
· You are chosen. I Peter 2:9
· You are free. 2 Corinthians 3:17
· You are forgiven. I John 1:9
· You are healed. I Peter 2:24
· You are blessed. Matthew 5:1-2
· You are loved. Romans 5:8
Don’t wait dear friend. It’s time to have your own heart-to-heart.