February is all about the heart. It is the heart health month with Valentine’s Day smack dab in the middle. We learn the signs of a heart attack and ways to take care of our hearts, but we don’t think enough about guarding our biblical hearts.
Proverbs 4:23 says, “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” Our hearts are the essence of who we are and determine the course of our lives and affect everything we do. We tend to allow so much to go on around us, not thinking how it permeates our hearts.
Of course, it is important to take care of our physical bodies. They are precious to God and He created them in His own image. The way I see it is that we focus on the physical aspects, which is what we can see, feel and touch. We know the condition of our bodies at all times, but we ignore the spiritual part. It is like a bride and groom who only prepare for their wedding day and not the marriage. They focus on what they know will happen that one day and not for the ups and downs of married life. That is us when we only think about our physical bodies.
According to 1 Timothy 4:8, “For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.” Taking care of our bodies is definitely worthwhile and allows us to do more in life, but that can’t be all we do.
The biblical heart includes our feelings, desires and even thoughts. It represents so much of who we are and where we are going. Physically, we eat healthy foods and exercise daily. These are habits we incorporate to keep strong hearts and bodies. Do we do enough to keep the heart of who we are strong? Going to church and doing nice things for people are great, as is using kind and uplifting words. Those things are not necessarily daily practices though.
Reading the Bible and praying every day are wonderful practices to keep our hearts centered on God. I think it can be too easy to do those things and then “forget” who we are the rest of the day. I am God’s child and created to do great things, and so are you. Do I act like that all the time? Sadly, no. Throughout our days, we need to learn to focus on the good and uplifting and let go of the negative. This is not saying to bury our heads in the sand when it comes to what is happening in the world around us, but to do what we can and encourage others to do the same.
The biggest way I think we can strengthen our hearts is by using them. Working on developing compassion and viewing everything we do in light of how it may help someone takes our hearts from beating to thriving. Pumping life into people around us is a feat that takes a lifetime to accomplish and makes us stronger a little bit every day.
Taking care of our hearts will affect us and those around us here on earth, but doing so will also be beneficial for our eternal lives. If we are to love God and people well, there is work involved. Let’s be consistent in our efforts, not just one month, but every day of the year.