Hi everyone. Rob here.
I’ve been doing a series on the three simple guidelines that I use to help me be kind to myself each day.
- Have I taken care of my body?
- Have I taken care of my mind?
- Have I taken care of my heart?
We’re now up to number 3; the heart. John Ortberg in his book, Soul Keeping, says that…
The heart is primarily the seat of the choices we make from the core of who we are.
The good news is that Scripture tells us that in Christ we have been given new hearts. The core of who we are has been changed from self-centred to God-centred. Our deepest desire is to live out of the life of God in us. We’re told that the Father and the Son have made their home in us. Our hearts have been made new but we are not always kind to our new hearts. We don’t always care for them very well. How can we do that, especially in the midst of a global health crisis when many of us are in lockdown mode?
I believe the best thing we can do for our hearts is to worship God. It may sound a bit trite but when we worship God, when we adore Father, Son and Spirit, we bring our hearts home. God is love and our hearts come alive when they are aligned with that love. Worship is where we can present our love for God to God and receive the love he has for us at the same time. As we open our heart to him in worship we give permission for his love to fill our being. It is the kindest thing we can do for our hearts that have been made new by the work of Jesus.
We can’t together with our churches and enjoy our talented musicians or have our voices join together. We can’t all join in the liturgy or give aloud ‘Amen!’ together. But we can soak in worship music via You Tube, Spotify or even CD’s. We can take communion in our homes. We can gaze at the stars and allow the wonder in our hearts to become worship to the God of Wonders. We can pray with Scripture, do online church, read books and do many, many things that help our hearts align with the heart of God, his heart of love.
We’ve been doing these things as a family and I’ve been doing them personally, but it’s still hard. It’s a difficult time filled with uncertainty and it’s easy to pay attention to voices of worry and fear, especially when your job’s on the line or the health of loved ones is fragile. This means that praying off fear is another way to be kind to your heart. We need to come against our old self, the voices of the world and the devil himself in the name and authority of Jesus. We also need to break any agreements we’ve made with worry and fear in the name of Jesus. We need to resist the voices that keep us trapped, that create distance between us and God and that keep us from hope.
So I think we need one more intentional practice. Find something that brings you a bit of joy every day. A daily walk, some Springsteen, worship, chatting and flirting with my wife, board games with the kids are all bringing me some joy. But I need to have the eyes of my heart open to see these things as joy. If I give way to apathy and cynicism my heart goes blind. To go back to my first point, worship opens the eyes of my heart. All other practices flow from there.
I hope this helps you in these interesting times! Grace and peace everyone.