“Life can be hard on the heart. The world is full of outside influences that have the power to disrupt the rhythm of your heart. Most are subtle. Some may even appear to be necessary as protection from further disruptions. Over time you may develop habits that slowly erode your heart’s sensitivity. . . . But at the end of the day, there’s no way around the truth: Your heart is out of sync with the rhythm it was created to maintain.”- Andy Stanley
“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?”- Jeremiah 17:9 (ESV)
In Chapter 1 (“It Came From Within”) of Enemies of the Heart: Breaking Free from the Four Emotions That Control You, Andy Stanley asserts that life’s disrupters throw your heart out of sync. Also, life’s inevitable pain and disappointment cause you to set up walls around your heart. Although this is understandable, problems arise when those disrupters linger. And, left alone, some linger for a lifetime.
Hence, after awhile we begin to accept these disrupters as part of us. Thus, they integrate into our personality. So, Andy Stanley asks you to pause and ponder this question: “How are things with your heart?”
Chances are, Andy notes, you’ve never stopped to consider that question. In the midst of busyness, though, you get caught up in life. So, when someone asks you how things are, you smile and say “Fine.”
Yet, Pastor Stanley stresses, this question is different and more important. In addition, it’s an awkward question. Perhaps, The author observes, we never stop to monitor our hearts because, as children, we were encourage to monitor our behavior. In other words, we learned to behave. And punishment focused our attention on behavior.
However, all this focus on behavior allows you to ignore the true condition of your heart. Sooner or later, the real you outpaces your attempts to monitor and modify your actions. If you continue to ignore your heart, the thing growing in there worsens. As a result, you won’t be able to contain, Andy states, “carefully managed words and behaviors.”
Today’s question: What life events disrupt the rhythm of your heart? Please share.
Coming Monday: the new Short Meditation, “The snowball in your face”
Tomorrow’s blog: “Spiritual heart disease – the root problem”