Our church just concluded a sermon series called The Heart of the Matter. The series touched on topics of service, giving, compassion and ways in which we can live our life each day and show love. After all, when you peel back the layers of what we do, how we live, the ways we act and show ourselves to those we encounter each and every day, the true essence of who we are is at the core.
Above all else guard your heart,
for it is the wellspring of life.
Guarding our heart was cautious words given to us by Solomon. Everything we do: every thought, every action, every deed, every word spoken, every cruel intention wished upon our enemy, etc., reflects the true character of our heart. That’s pretty darn scary when you really think about it! Our heart is our reflection of who we are. The mouth speaks what the heart is full of; truly what is in our heart matters and if our words, actions and deeds are ugly, so it our heart.
Living and reflecting upon those words has been a very personal journey; ridding and pruning the rot and the distractions that allow anger and disappointment to turn into something dark and ugly does not allow a healthy heart to thrive. Finding room for forgiveness, compassion and selflessness must take priority. And it includes giving forgiveness and giving love to yourself, as much as to those who have cast hurt and pain along the way. Mistakes made can be hard, but lessons learned have purpose.
We have to get honest with ourselves, examine our motives and see if our hearts are driven by love, or by actions we would not be willing to own up to. My senior pastor, Jim Boltz, puts it pretty square when he puts it like this:
We are not going to risk being in real relationships
if we have something in our heart we are trying to hide.
We are not going to risk being unreasonably generous
if our heart is greedy.
We are not going to risk loving other people enough
to sacrifice our time and our effort to
serve them if our heart is selfish.
It’s all a matter of the heart.
A life motivated by love, where untold blessings are the natural result of selfless giving, service and leading with the heart is a life fulfilled. Thankfully, daily grace and forgiveness allows us all to pick ourselves up when human struggles and mistakes get in the way of what we know is the love-driven life we all aspire to.
If you are living a love-led life, I applaud you! It is the master-key to an outrageously blessed, deeply fulfilled life.