“We’re tempted to treat the ancillary, symptomatic challenges that stem from an unhealthy heart while ignoring the deeper issues. . . . eventually the root problem will become a real problem . . . . so spiritual heart disease has the potential to destroy you and squeeze the life out of your most valuable relationships.”- Andy Stanley
“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.”- Ezekiel 36:26 (NIV)
Andy Stanley concludes Chapter 1 of Enemies of the Heart as he states that when you notice things starting to slip a bit, that’s merely a symptom of a deeper struggle. For example, although you’ve contained your anger previously, now there’s an edge in your voice. It even scares you. Consequently, your heart is under assault. And you might even be losing. Primarily, Andy notes , through neglect.
Furthermore, the following statements provide evidence of an internal battle:
- “I can’t believe I just said/did that.”
- “I don’t know where that came from.”
- “That’s not like me.”
Therefore, in Enemies of the Heart, Pastor Stanley identifies four primary enemies of the heart. Next, he challenges us to embrace four new habits of the heart. Thus, change must happen from the inside out. In other words, we need a heart capable of keeping pace with our outward obedience.
Finally, at some point in life, each of us must face the painful truth that all is not well. Since we’re still a work in progress, some heart work still needs to be done. Just remember, Andy counsels, your heart didn’t develop it’s present condition overnight. So, it won’t get healthier overnight either. Pastor Stanley explains:
“You can’t over come in an instant the effects of years of blockage caused by guilt, anger, greed, and jealousy. Adopting new habits of the heart is a process that will yield some immediate results.”
Today’s question: What do you see as the root problem causing your spiritual heart disease? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “Never dealing with the root problem”