Not only houses get dirty but even our hearts, too. After all, they are our spiritual homes and we need to keep them clean as we do our physical spaces. After all, everything we do comes from what’s inside of our hearts so here are some tips on how we can regularly keep it clear of the bad stuff!
mind what we put in our hearts
“The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.” (Luke 6:45, ESV Bible)
Like plants, whatever we sow in our hearts will someday grow. When we sow offense, hurt, pain, anger, this is also what grows and eventually becomes the fruit of our tongue. So let’s make sure we sow good seeds!
check what we release from our hearts
But it isn’t only what we put in, but also what we put out. A great example would be keeping the body fit. That depends not only on what we put in or what we eat, but also what we put out – like exercise! Is it not that some movements are suggested to keep our hearts pumping and our muscles strong. Just the same, we must do this emotionally – mind what we put in, but also mind what we release from inside to outside. We need to do both so the heart can also stay emotionally fit!
I actually listed some examples over here:
- Encouragement. Is it not that when we encourage or help others, it also somehow refreshes us? So make it a habit to release something good from yourself and expect that it will also bless you back!
The one who blesses others is abundantly blessed; those who help others are helped. (Proverbs 11:25, The Message Bible)
“When you open doors for others, God will open doors for you.” (Lisa Bevere)
- Confession. It is inevitable, we will think bad thoughts and do bad things. Whether we like it or not we cannot be correct all the time and when bad thoughts and emotions plague us, they need a way out. They can’t stay in our hearts or it will someday eat us up. No wonder the Bible says that when we confess our sins to each other and pray for one another, we heal.
Make this your common practice: Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you can live together whole and healed. (James 5:15, The Message Bible)
- Forgiveness. We usually think that forgiveness is for the benefit of others but it really is more for us. Look at what this quote says:
“You will find that it is necessary to let things go; simply for the reason that they are heavy. So let them go, let go of them. I tie no weights to my ankles.” (C.Joybell.C)
- Apology. It is so liberating to be humbled. It is also such a powerful example to our children and to people in general when we know how to say we are sorry. Contrary to our expectations, saying sorry does not make us less of a person but more of it. We are people and fallen after all, and an apology fosters mercy and grace over perfection and performance in our family life.
“Never forget the nine most important words of any family: I love you; You are beautiful; Please forgive me.” (H.Jackson Brown Jr.)
choose what we keep in our hearts
Many times we can choose the things we put in our hearts, and also what we release from it. But then there will be times when our hearts will have to receive blows which are beyond our control. Someone perhaps said you look fat, or your kid said you are a monster, maybe people think you are harsher than you really are in life, and many more.
What do we do when this is the case? Be like Mary, the mother of Jesus.
She knew she was going to be the mother of no ordinary boy and if she chose to dwell in that thought then letting go would have been harder, and she would have skipped the real joy in being a mother.
Bible says that Mary “treasured up all thee things, pondering them in her heart” (Luke2:19). What did she treasure in her heart? The sight of her infant boy. As a mother, I know this to be one of the best stages in my life, to look at a helpless babe everyday and be filled with love. Mary chose to do this, instead of wracking her brains out about the destiny of her child. Of perhaps losing him to his real purpose someday. Of perhaps even his son dying ahead of her. Of all, Mary chose to focus on the most precious, sweetest, moments, and only those did she keep in her heart. She made no room for fear, no room for offense, no room for paranoia, and she focused on what is truly precious before her.
Scroll up and look at image above and know that was taken when my stress levels were high and all I wanted to do was sleep. But guess what? I chose to keep this image in my heart instead of all the bad things that I was feeling. And my prayer for all of us today is that we’ll always choose moments that are worth keeping, that we will welcome only the right things in our hearts.
Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense. (Proverbs 19:11, ESV Bible)
“Pick battles big enough to matter, small enough to win.” (Jonathan Kozol)