My heart must need repaired because it is obviously broken.
This verse came to mind as I was in the middle of reacting to something I had heard, and I began to question the health of my heart. I began to think about the times when I am a reactor: when I am cut off in traffic, when my kids are snapping at each other, when I have lack of sleep, forget to set an alarm, and am starting my morning off late. When people talk about me, when friends hurt my feelings, when things don’t go the way I think they should. What words come out of my mouth? What thoughts come to my mind?
You know the saying “you are what you eat.” I think it is more than a metephor for our bodies and the food we consume. We are influenced by our surroundings. What we watch on tv, who we spend time with, even what we listen to. When we spend time with something regularly, it becomes part of our normal. Those you spend time with impact the state of your heart. Those you call friends either add value to–or take away from–your heart.
We all hide things in our hearts, and when circumstances arise, what comes out of our mouths is a direct reflection of what we have allowed our life. Are you taking in love, hate, bitterness, grace, judgment, perfectionism, goodness, forgivness, surperiority, authenticity, gossip, positivity, slander, or hope? What words speak to your own heart? I want to be more cautious about what I put in my heart so that when I speak what comes out is value, not brokenness.
It does seem that it is easier to be mad, to hold a grudge, to talk behind others’ backs, to put someone down, or to let someone take the fall. It is more work to be gracious, to forgive when it isn’t “deserved”, to not dwell on words that hurt, to speak positively about someone when you may feel the opposite. But just like the saying “you are what you eat”, the more you “eat” the practices of love the more love will become your reaction and the overflow of your heart will be full of grace and kindness.