The other day I asked God why I was given this heart.
The one I have looks like it’s about to fall apart; it’s purple with bruises and has weathered through heartbreaks. I’ve always had a heart for people, but often that seems more like a curse than a blessing. It hasn’t always been easy.
Courage becomes beautiful when you exchange hearts with the people you meet. It’s an honour to be tasked with holding someone else’s heart. But people take you for granted. Not everyone knows how to hold your heart well. Many of them are careless enough to drop it.
Our hearts are capable of producing good and bad fruits, so the key is in guarding your heart.
I refuse to believe this heart is in me by mere coincidence. There must be a reason why I’ve been given this particular heart. I want to steward it well (1 Peter 4:10).
So instead of always lamenting about all my hurts and disappointments, I took to Merriam Webster for a dictionary definition on what else our heart is good for – to give me a renewed understanding of my heart’s meaning and purpose. And, with this newly-acquired knowledge, I’m figuring out how better to harness my heart, with the “singleness of heart” God said He would give us in Jeremiah 32:39.
HOW TO HARNESS THE HEART
Definition #1: The heart is “one’s innermost character, feelings or inclinations”
It’s so easy to get caught up in the fluff of things; the eloquence of a poet’s words, or the showmanship of a performer. But when we get to the centre, the core and crux of a person, we get to discover beauty on another level. We get to discover what makes them do things, what makes them hold back. What makes them function, and what debilitates them.
The heart is the source from which all things flows (Proverbs 4:23).
But this means that our hearts are capable of producing good and bad fruits, so the key is in guarding your heart; this will protect you from allowing negative emotions to rule your life. Turn every negative feeling or thought to God, laying it at His feet. Ask Him to remove your heart of stone, and give you a heart of flesh – the new heart and new spirit promised in Ezekiel 36:26.
Definition #2: The heart is “courage and enthusiasm”
This explains the warmth that erupts from somewhere deep inside you when someone tells you “Don’t lose heart”, or to “take heart”. There’s something powerful about taking heart, drawing courage. We don’t just wait passively, but we actively lay hold of and reach for it. It requires us to set our minds to act.
We need courage to love people. We can’t run away from this calling; God commanded us to love our neighbours (Mark 12:31) and to lay our life down for our brothers (John 15:13). We can face difficulties with strength and courage because God will be there wherever you go, every step of the way (Joshua 1:9).
Definition #3: The heart is “the vital part or essence”
Your heart is distinct from someone else’s. It defines who you are. It makes you you.
Your heart influences who you are as a person, and in turn influences the people around you. It is capable of inspiration. Your heart produces things that you will be known for; from it flows your character.
It is your essence. Make it a good one. Pray for a pure heart (Psalm 51:10). And guard it, guard it, guard it.
It’s okay to have a burning heart. That means it beats and lives. Choose to tarry through your hurts and disappointment – and like refining fire, God will make something beautiful out of it.