Once again, the holiday of Valentine’s Day has come and gone. Now, there’s all this leftover pink, red, and white colored candy wrappings, balloons, and heart-shaped items galore. For the single woman, this can be a stressful time due to the pressure that society places on individuals to have significant others and to not be alone. There’s nothing wrong with having relationships but there is something to be said about motives behind having them.
February may be heart health month in regards to physical health, but we as Christians need to be aware of the emotional and spiritual conditions of our hearts as well.
“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?”
Jeremiah 17:9 ESV
Mankind is sinful. Our hearts are sick. Unhealthy. When left unchecked, well, Scripture tells us what can happen and it’s neither pretty nor godly. As believers, we have the amazing gift of God’s Holy Spirit dwelling within us; a pure being who can correct us where we are wrong by conviction and remorse while also guiding us into righteous living by His wisdom. Unlike humans, God sees directly into our hearts. He not only sees but also knows its condition, the status of its health (1 Samuel 16:7, Psalm 44:12, Jeremiah 17:10).
“Who can say, ‘I have made my heart pure; I am clean from my sin’?”
Proverbs 20:9 ESV
No matter how “good” we may consider ourselves, how well kept we look from the outside, we are not in perfect health and are in need of a physician to make our health better. God is the Great Physician, the only expert in spiritual health, and it is by Him, by Christ’s blood on the cross alone, that we are made clean and well (Romans 5:9, Ephesians 1:7).
“And Jesus answered them, ‘Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.’ ”
Luke 5:31-32 ESV
Our hearts are sinful, that much is clear, and even as believers, those who are redeemed sinners, we still fall short of perfection. Psalm 51:17 tells us that
“the sacrifice You [God] desire is a broken spirit. You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God.”
We may be forgiven of all our sins, but that does not mean that we are to dismiss our sin as we live our lives. God knew all our sins before we even committed them. To daily repent of our wrongdoings, where we err, is good. It allows us to continually acknowledge the areas that we need God to work in us, crafting us more like His Son Jesus. We are told in Isaiah 57:15 that our holy God is with us and will revive hearts that are contrite, which means repentant.
We must look within ourselves and see where our hearts aren’t lining up with Scripture. With relationships, are our hearts lustful and creating idols of other people? Are we too dependent on another human’s love, craving their attention and affection rather than finding full satisfaction in the love that God has for us? Do we let what the world’s expectations for its concept of love influence our hearts in such a way that we do not listen to the Holy Spirit when we stray from how our hearts should be?
Physical heart health is vital for us to stay alive, for our bodies to function properly, allowing us to enjoy life more fully. Spiritual heart health is vital for us to stay spiritually alive: this allows us to grow more like Christ, recognize the Spirit’s stirring and convictions and act on them, and to draw closer to God than to the temporary, fleeting things of this world, like that box of chocolates and those dozen roses.
So I ask you, how’s your heart health?