At a restaurant this weekend, I witnessed an obvious family argument. It was such that it literally stopped all conversation around it as people watched the drama unfold. The end result of it was that it unsettled the attitudes and the hearts of many people around them and literally sucked the joy from the room for a moment. It was sad to see, and it spread grief to others so quickly. For a moment, it made my heart heavy, and at Christmas time, that really annoyed me!
I have mentioned this before, but my good friend and pastor Jay Hanson is often heard asking the question, “What is the condition of your heart?”. I want to ask that question of each of you today, and I want you to think of it in terms of what is deep inside, especially during this holiday season. Jay asks a couple of companion questions as well:
- Is your heart glad (light) or sad (heavy)?
- Has someone hurt your heart?
- Have you hurt someone else’s heart?
These simple questions can help you get closer to where you are in your spiritual life, and understand how your own heart condition can affect those around you. By stopping and examining what is really in your heart as only you can do, you can make incredible progress spiritually and relationally. If you do this examination on a regular basis, you can approach most things with a calm sense of peace that will take you to all the right places and decisions. Discuss the condition of your heart with God regularly. You will never hear anything from him except the truth, and he is the Great Healer of hearts. I love this verse from Proverbs:
Proverbs 4:23 (NIV):
Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.
As we all get ready to celebrate Christmas, approach it with a healthy heart, and guard it jealously! If you work on getting that healthy, just think of all the hearts that will be uplifted – just because you made sure yours was light.
Merry Christmas – may God grant you a light and merry heart this year!