We can have a physically healthy heart, but a spiritually healthy heart is a far more important in God’s economy because it affects every area of our life, including our physical health.
Spiritual unhealth begins in our heart. See symptoms of spiritual sickness. Our whole life flows from our heart. Proverbs 4:23 (NIV) says, Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.
The status of our heart depends largely on how much we allow God to change us more into the likeness of His Son, Jesus. A healthy heart is:
1. A content heart. Content and trusting in God, whether in good times or in lack, Philippians 4:11-12. Not striving or looking to what other people have, or allowing jealousy or materialism grip our heart, just content in Him. He knows what we need and want. He knows the dreams in our heart. Contentment is a measure of our trust in Him.
2. A heart that trusts God. God loves us, He sees everything, knows everything, and has a great plan for our life, Jeremiah 29:11. We don’t have to strive to earn His love, we don’t have to run ahead of Him, we know He loves us and we simply trust Him. We trust God’s integrity to do what He said He will do.
3. An honest heart. Honest before God and honest before people, having nothing to hide. And why would we hide? God sees everything and the things we think we hide from people, they can see anyway. Just live honestly. This is upright living.
4. An integrous heart. Integrity starts with having an honest heart before God. Ruthlessly honest. Upright. And a commitment to follow through on our word, even to our own inconvenience or hurt. It is a heart that is undivided and straight before God, authentic and true–never fake or false. The quickest giveaway to a lack of integrity is gossip. A person’s ability to talk poorly about another person, any person, is a stunning lack of integrity. It doesn’t matter who they are talking to, it matters that they are gossiping. Gossip is quickly followed by withholding or hiding things, lying, a willingness to cheat, cut corners, take advantage of people, use people. Some people have learned to do this while hiding it in an altruistic all for the good of others…but it’s all a lack of integrity.
5. A generous heart. A heart that is concerned with getting shrinks and becomes stingy, always grabbing and lusting for more. A heart that is concerned with giving and being generous in word, gesture and deed, is a heart overflowing with God’s love. It’s a large heart, whose capacity will grow and grow. A person with a generous heart will live a really big life, Proverbs 11:24.
6. A humble heart. Humility takes great strength because it is the submitting of our own wants and desires to that of God. A humble heart is the opposite of a pride-filled and arrogant heart. Pride and arrogance might have a look of strength, but this is an illusion. It’s really just a very weak and lacking any control over the self-will. Our ability to quickly and easily say sorry, that is repent, is a measure of humility. If we have a hard time saying sorry, to anyone, we have pride in our heart. Humility is the giving up of our self-defending ways and willful ways. When we give up our self-defending ways and live with a humble and repentant heart, and we are made right by God, through Jesus. God loves a humble heart.
7. A heart filled with genuine love. Is a heart that willingly serves others and commits to others despite what we get back. We can overlook offenses and things that divide us. We believe the best and expect the best in people, never suspiciously distrustful or gossipy. We are happy when others succeed and get opportunity. We look to bless others and lift others, all others. There is no favoritism, no clique, no elitism, no snobbery, everyone is loved and appreciated and helped.
8. A grateful heart. We have nothing apart from what God has given us, including salvation. If we live with a heart full of thankfulness and gratitude toward God for everything, we will not slide into the cultural hubristic way of thinking so common in the world, where we believe we are entitled and deserving of special privilege or treatment, or believing people exist to serve or give to us, or owe us. We owe everything to God and do really well when we remember that, always.
9. A heart that quickly forgives others. Or maybe it’s better said: a heart that doesn’t take offense at anything another person does. When we know how much we have been forgiven, we will not hold unforgiveness or offense in our heart. We can’t. It’s contradictory to our faith, hypocritical even. And holding onto hurt and unforgiveness quickly becomes hate in our heart. God forgives us everything, how can we not forgive others everything? If we don’t forgive others, our Father in heaven will not forgive us, Luke 6:37. A person with a judging, critical heart, or one that holds onto past hurts–real or imagined–does not yet understand how much God loves us.
10. A heart that gives true worship to Jesus. God is seeking worshipers who will worship Him in Spirit and truth, John 4:24. That is, worship from the very core of who we are because that means Jesus is there. Jesus is at the center. Jesus is on the throne and we have dethroned ourselves. Anyone can look like a worshiper in front of people but no-one can fool God. He knows when He is receiving true worship. When we lift our hands and hearts toward Him, singing our heart out before Him, it quickly brings His presence to our life in an increased measure. We make a home for Him in our heart through our worship.