Do you need a heart check?
Is a heart check needed in your life?
By Kathleen Maxwell-Rambie
As I walked into the emergency room to see my father, I was greeted by the physician that had been treating my dad.
“Kathleen, your dad is in serious condition and his heart is failing. I am afraid he could code at any moment. Do you have his advanced directives?” the doctor asked.
“I have them at home.” I replied, still trying to wrap my mind around what I heard.
“You need to go and get them as soon as possible,” the doctor continued.
I knew my father had bone cancer and congestive heart failure. He was tough as a boot and already had used up his nine lives, however, I guess I expected he would have 10.
To help beat the odds of his condition, he exercised, watched his weight and took medication to take care of his heart. He was a fighter and he had always been a part of my life.
It is imperative that each of us take care of our heart, otherwise, we will not live long. But what about your spiritual heart? What condition is your heart in?
Proverbs 4:23 (NIV) admonishes us to guard our heart. It says, “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.”
Our heart is the core of who we are and we must examine it all the time to keep it in good shape.
The first and best ways we can take care of our spiritual heart is to give our hearts to Jesus. God sent Jesus so we could have a new heart.
Ezekiel 36:26 talks about this great exchange and God’s heart for us when we accept Christ into our lives.
“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.”
It is simple to get a new spiritual heart. Romans 10:9 &10 shows us how.
“That if you confess with your mouth, Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.”
Have you accepted Christ into your heart? If not, what are you waiting for? Your new heart is available.
Numerous people give their hearts to Christ but then do not take care of it.
Reading the Bible, talking to God, also known as prayer, confessing sins to him and receiving His forgiveness are all things that strengthen our spiritual heart.
God’s word is like a road map. It keeps us going the right way, shows us how to live, speak, work, get along with others, have peace and joy.
Prayer is simply a conversation with God. You do not have to kneel to pray and can visit with God anytime, anyplace.
Tell God your concerns and what hurts. He is always available to listen.
Just as hardening of the arteries will keep blood from flowing properly through our bodies, our heart can become calloused by difficulties in life, hurt, disappointments and betrayal.
Forgiveness is essential to keeping our heart soft. We are instructed throughout scripture to forgive others that have hurt and disappointed us and we are also told to ask God for forgiveness of the things we have done wrong.
Confessing and repenting of our sins, wrong attitudes, selfish actions or unkind words are important to keeping our heart soft.
All of us have done wrong. Sometimes one of the hardest things to do is forgive ourselves. Most people hate to make mistakes but don’t be afraid to admit your faults to God. He loves you unconditionally and He wants your heart tender towards Him and others.
My sweet father’s natural heart stopped beating shortly after my conversation with the physician ten years ago. He was a man that also took care of his spiritual heart and set a good example for his children and grandchildren.
You and I have a lot of life to live. I do not want to miss one minute of the things God has for me. I always want my heart to be soft, tender to Him and sensitive to those around me. Life flows from the heart in the natural and in our spiritual lives. Will you join me in giving your spiritual heart a checkup and take care of your heart?
Kathleen Maxwell is a native of the Hill Country, a writer and speaker. She is passionate about helping others discover the joy of walking with God. You can contact her at [email protected]. For more information, articles, her podcast or to purchase her book, “Thriving Through Seasons of Grief,” visit her website at www.kathleenmaxwellrambie.com.