Thursday, February 16, 2023

How's Your Heart?


By: Donna Bucher


"My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings. Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart. For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh. Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life."

Provers 4:20-23


February presents us with a good opportunity for focusing on heart health. Valentine’s Day offers a fun way of honoring and celebrating all of our relationships, not just the romantic ones!

As a child, I adored cutting out paper hearts and making Valentines for friends, family, and school mates. As an adult, I enjoy taking time throughout the month of February to share my love and appreciation for others all around me.

In recent years my heart focus includes reviewing my relationship with God, and how I might be more intentional in my love for Him.

The focus is also on heart health, but a different kind of heart health. Either way, when February looms on the calendar, I start meditating on spiritual heart health.

God created us as holistic beings with (physical) hearts, (emotional) hearts and (spiritual) hearts; all of which require diligent care if we are to thrive.


These three "hearts" are intimately connected and neglect in one area affects all of the areas. Just as poor diet manifests cardiovascular issues affecting our physical heart, anger, stress and pessimism/negativity affects our emotional and spiritual hearts.

But did you know fostering anger, unforgiveness, and negativity affects your physical heart as well?

A recent medical study showed anger damages your physical heart through a literal chemical explosion in your body showing a 20% increase in cardiovascular disease. Anger, stress, and negativity also trigger unhealthy cravings in the body for sugar and salt contributing to a host of problems.

One study followed 13,000 individuals for an extended period of time; the individuals who regularly indulged in negativity, complaining, and anger, had mortality rates 25% higher than the more positive group!


Neglecting our spiritual hearts by allowing anger, unforgiveness and negativity, not only damages our physical heart, but it damages our relationship with God and others.

We must be diligent in searching our hearts for attitudes that sow discord and displease God.

Eating good spiritual food, and guarding what we allow in our heart space, protects our physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being.


3 Ways to Guard Your Heart


Be a gatekeeper. Only you can guard your heart. Be intentional about what you allow to grow there. Think of your heart as a garden, only plant there things which are beautiful, enriching, and God honoring. (Proverbs 4:23)

Persevere in Trial. Trusting God's sovereign boundaries conforming suffering to His good purpose, we rest knowing suffering will never crush us, push us to despair, cause God to abandon us, or destroy us. (2 Corinthians 4:8-15)

Rest in God’s Love. Resting in the unfailing foundation of God’s love positions you to trust His sovereign goodness along the hard paths. (Isaiah 54:10)


As you linger with the affections of your heart this month, consider not only ways of loving God and others well, but how you can truly guard your heart from damaging influences of unaddressed anger, complaining, unforgiveness, and negativity.


Reflection Questions:


Viewing the spiritual garden of your heart today, what weeds threaten to choke out the goodness of God?


Which of the 3 ways of guarding your heart listed above could you spend more time working on this month?


Find more encouragement and FREE Resources at Serenity in Suffering!


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  1. I love the idea of thinking of my heart as a garden. Proverbs 40:23 is my focus verse this year. May I be intentional about planting only what enriches and honours my relationship with God.

    1. Lynn, Proverbs 4:23 is such a good verse to help us walk in godly wisdom. Thinking of our hearts as gardens, helps us envision being better caretakers of his great treasure!

  2. I've enjoyed the reminders that I have found here today, Donna. The one area I have grown in over the last year is in the area of guarding my heart... being a gatekeeper. The Lord has used YOU in countless ways to teach me this valuable lesson.

    1. Thank you for your kind words of encouragement! I praise God you have been able to learn to be a better gatekeeper of your heart, for truly everything flows from our hearts!


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