Heart Check

Charmain - Marketing Assistant (Writer)
by Charmain Hibberd

Marketing Assistant (Writer), CBN Europe

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Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. 

(Hebrews 12:1 NLT) 

Taking Stock

This may seem like an obscure verse to choose when talking about heart health but bear with me. 

Throughout the coronavirus lockdown and limited measures in socialising, I have noticed that my levels of activity have diminished somewhat. Alongside this I have realised that my eating habits have changed. Snacking and reaching for poor choices in food have also become commonplace and the end result is not hard to deduce! 

With the added weight and reduced fitness levels I have become acutely aware of my heart and its health. 

With every breathless walk up a steep flight of steps I realise that I am not in the best shape and that I could do more to protect and even defend my heart health. 

It’s time for a heart check. 

Now, where this assessment can be applied in a physical sense, it also got me thinking about my heart health in a spiritual sense.  

What is lurking in my heart that may compromise its health in the long run? 

What weights are slowing me down, as the scripture above puts it? What sin is tripping me up? 

These have an effect on our hearts and the measure of fullness of life that Jesus died for us to live in.  

It’s time for a heart check. 

What is lurking in my heart that may compromise its health in the long run? 

Unforgiveness

A definite weight that can slow us down is unforgiveness and offence. 

I always think of unforgiveness as a dark ball of unfriendly matter that, if left unchecked, spreads and grows and feeds off of our unwillingness to forgive. Soon it becomes an uncontrollable mass that invades our whole lives.  

Bitterness.  

It is so easy to pick up an offence, large or small, and allow it to develop into something nasty. We must become well versed in the habit of recognising when we’re offended or hurt and forgiving 

The thing is, none of us are perfect. We may like to think that we are and that we would never hurt someone the way that we’ve been hurt but the truth of the matter is that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.  

Jesus is very clear on the matter of forgiveness, or the lack thereof: 

‘But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.’ 

(Matthew 6:15 NIV) 

Pretty black and white isn’t it? 

It is in our best interest to address an offence and forgive. It helps us to keep our hearts healthy.  

(For more on unforgiveness and how to overcome it, read our teaching sheet on the subject here.) 

‘But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.’ 

(Matthew 6:15 NIV) 

Secret Sin

Why do I specifically mention secret sin? Because it is this sin that is easier to deceive ourselves with. 

The things that we do when no one is around, no one is watching and no one knows. These are the cancers that can eat away at our bones and leave us hollow. 

The word ‘sin’ has gotten a bad rep in society. It holds judgemental undertones that causes people to reject it the moment they hear it. But it simply means this: 

‘Transgression of divine law:’* 

Let’s go deeper. To transgress is defined as this: 

‘To violate a law, command, moral code.’* 

In both definitions, the law is mentioned. Whether you believe in God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit or not, there is a law that we must abide by in this land. There is a moral code. 

This moral code is set in place to protect us and others from harm and to help us to live lives above reproach. 

Anything that falls outside of the law, societal moral code or God’s law – if you believe in Jesus – has the potential to cause us and others harm. 

I don’t need to go into the bones of what the law is or what is considered a transgression. You know because it is the very thing that you do in secret, the thing that you know deep down is not best for you. 

This is what needs addressing and it is this that, once dealt with, will set you free. 

‘It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.’ 

(Galatians 5:1 NIV) 

Run Your Race

Unforgiveness and secret sin are just two examples of heart checks you can consider for your spiritual health. There are many more, as vast as the law itself. Why not take some time today, even now, to pray. Ask God to reveal any area of your heart that displeases Him and that is causing you harm. 

I assure you, heart health, both physically and spiritually, will ensure that we can run the race marked out for us with endurance.

When was the last time you put your heart under the microscope?
When was the last time you put your heart under the microscope?

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