As I was meditating and giving serious thought to what I would address for the month of February for several publications, I began to think about the human heart. Now, I have lived long enough to know that different folks believe different things about the importance of the heart. I am not referring to medical conditions, although God knows there are many people suffering from bad hearts in the physical realm. Scholars have long debated what is stored within man’s heart. Many say it is the seat of our emotions. Some intelligent writers warn about “keeping the heart.” Others say that you must think only on good things (which I’ll admit is fairly hard to do in this day and age) and store them in your heart.
Proverbs 4:23 in the Amplified Bible teaches, “Keep and guard your heart with all vigilance and above all that you guard (or protect), for out of it flow the springs of life.” The King James Version of the Bible teaches, “Keep thy heart with all diligence (carefulness), for out of it are the issues of life.” Reading the same verse in several other versions of the Holy Word of God, we get the same impression. What is in our heart is very important to the total well being of our life.
One lady wrote, “Be careful what you put into your heart, because out of it, your actions will come.” Another compared our hearts to a computer — whatever you put in comes out.
If we put evil thoughts, unkind words, gossip, pornography, bad messages or hatred in any form, it will seep out of our hearts and form words and actions when we least expect it to do so. Are we out to get someone (or many some ones) in our hearts? Do evil and vile plans lurk there? Are we constantly churning over the ill that has been dealt to us by others?
“O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart doth the mouth speak. A good man out of the good treasure of the heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things” (Matthew 12:34, 35). “A good man (or woman) out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth that which is good. An evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth that which is evil. Out of the abundance of the heart does the mouth speak” (Luke 6:45).
The keeping of the heart must be important to God if two of the writers of the gospels and so many additional references make so much of it for us to have, read and understand. The Book of Proverbs again in Chapter 23, Verse 7, teaches, “For as he (or she) thinks in his heart, so is he. Eat and drink, said he to you, but his heart is not with you.”
Goodness, I am compelled today to think of what is in my own heart. What have I stored there? Are the treasures of my heart good or evil?
February is traditionally thought of as “the heart month,” and we are reminded of those we love and admire. Many of us give and receive sweet remembrances of our love to each other, but perhaps the very best gift we could offer both to ourselves and to others would be the gift of a clean and pure heart. Perhaps we should join King David as he prayed in Psalm 139:23, 24, “Search me, O God, and know my heart. Try me, and know my thoughts. And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”
Happy Valentine’s Day to all of our readers. May I say thank you to those of you who take the time to write or call when one of our columns is a blessing to you? I appreciate your reading our publication and I pray daily that our words will be of help and blessing to each of you.
Brenda Cannon Henley can be reached at (409) 781-8788 or at brendacannonhenley [at] yahoo [dot] com.