The Human Heart.
I don’t want to explain this painting yet because I’m still sorting out all of these feels. But I know I’m supposed to go ahead and get this out, and that this really doesn’t have to be perfect. So here it is.
This painting started as something else, but when I didn’t like what I saw, I covered it up with a bunch of red paint and soon this crazy ugly heart took shape.
I covered this heart with some ribs, like we all do. And then I left the heart exposed, like we all do. And then I painted a mess around it…..like we all do. Because to be perfectly, terribly, grossly honest, there has been a mess around my heart. A mess of selfishness, a mess of hurt, a mess of jealousy, a mess of happiness, a mess of love, a mess of joy, and a mess of pain. And I covered it up with a bunch of bright and shiny life stuff that hides the things I don’t like, and it gets guarded by my ribs, but it’s still exposed and people can see it if they look close enough. And so this is the Human Heart.
Growing up in the church I’ve heard the phrases “Don’t listen to your heart,” “Our hearts are deceitful, “ and “If you’re following your heart, you’re not desiring God.” Our hearts can play tricks on us, that is definite, and proven in my own life. Our hearts can keep us in a state of self-seeking, self-centeredness, instead of allowing us to be the Christ guided humans we should be . Sometimes following our hearts can hurt God’s plan for our lives, it can hurt others around us because they too are impacted by our heart’s decisions, and it can hurt our own heart’s and lives, leaving us with a mess of exposed arteries and veins that keep bleeding until we find something to tie it all off with.
And then all the while the world is shouting “Follow your heart!” “Your heart never lies!””Listen to your heart!”
So what are we to do, and who are we to trust?
I don’t have a clear answer, which is why I didn’t feel prepared to write this. But this is what I have learned, and this is my human heart poured out for you.
GIVE YOUR HEART A BREAK.
Can we just not be so hard on our hearts for a minute and take this in? Because here’s the simple truth. God loves our hearts. God knows the messes we have made, and he knows the messes we are going to make. And still, He loves our hearts. He chose our hearts, knowing they would continually fail each other, and fail Him. So give your heart a break because God already has.
Here is what God has planned for our messy hearts:
1 Thessalonians 3:13 – He wants to establish our hearts blameless in holiness before God our Father
Psalm 10:17 – He wants to hear our cries and strengthen our hearts
Romans 5:5 – He does not want our hope to put us to shame, because His love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit.
And all God asks is that we give our hearts a break and LET HIM IN.
So my human heart has looked like a nightmare, a lot like this ugly painting. And maybe yours has too. But let’s decide right now to love our hearts. No matter the mess, no matter the hurt, no matter the ugliness. Let’s love our hearts like God does. Our hearts are always going to be messy. But with God in them, they’re going to be free, and He’s going to use them, giving us our desires to bring glory to Him.
Let’s let God – Psalm 51:10 -Create in us a clean heart, and renew a right spirit within us.