Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Heart Disease

I begin a new sermon series this coming Sunday. Honestly, it is a straight-up knock off of Andy Stanley's book, It Came From Within. Andy writes about four monsters that attack our hearts: guilt, anger, greed, and envy. More on that in later posts.

The upshot of the book, which I finished reading this morning about 1 AM, is this: we spend far more time adjusting our behavior that we we do tending to the heart. Odd, since it is the heart that is the source of our behavior. The heart doesn't so much reflect who I am, as it reveals who I am.

The book came at a good time for me, for it is an affirmation of something my spiritual coach, Dean, told me while back. He said that I need to reflect more. I need to pay more attention to the inner life. Andy Stanley agrees.

In fact, he lists several questions in his book that help us test the heart:
  • Is everything okay with my heart?
  • Am I mad at anybody?
  • Did anyone hurt my feelings today?
  • Did anyone break a promise to me today?
  • Am I worried about anything?
The answers to these questions can reveal if we have a monster lurking in the shadows.

These aren't the questions we usually ask, though. Truth is, we usually focus on our behavior.

Not convinced that you monitor behavior instead of your heart? When was the last time you asked your son or daughter, "Are you mad at anyone?" No? Me either. I ask things like, "Is your room clean?" or "Did you finish your homework?" I spotlight behavior and neglect teaching my kids to reflect. Why? Because that is what I learned to do.

There are other questions you can ask that will help you diagnose whether or not you have heart disease. These really require some boldness, though, because these are questions you ask the people closest to you. Try these on your husband or wife:
  • Do you feel I struggle with being completely open about things?
  • Do you feel like I have walls?
  • Do you ever feel like you're competing with my stuff?
  • Are you ever afraid to talk to me?
  • Do you ever wonder which one of me you're coming home to?
Did I mention these are tough?

I don't know if you're like me, but I am convinced that I need to focus more on my heart. When I do, I'm guessing my behavior will begin to change the way God desires. Or at least that is what I am hoping.

1 comment:

Julie said...

Wow. Great GREAT post. I'll definitely be thinking about this and try to practice it.