Bless your heart!

Spiritual health

by Christine Berglund

Tennesseans are accused of using the phrase, “Bless his heart,” when we are about to say something mean. While this is true some of the time, it’s not always the case. Don’t worry, I’m not going to be mean!

February is Heart Health month, and it’s time to make sure we are taking care of ourselves, especially the old ticker. My daughter sent me a very funny video about a Mom who was too busy to pay attention to heart attack symptoms.

This will not be a discourse on how to protect yourself against the #1 killer in America. As important as this is, time is too short to talk here about just our physical health.

What if I cut my saturated fats, got more exercise, and thus added an additional 10 years to my life? Moses rightly said, “We spend our years as a tale that is told. The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away” (Psalm 90:9-10 KJV).

We are not destined to stay here more than a few decades. We take care of our bodies to the extent that we keep useful in the service of our King. Find out what will keep you healthy and strong for the work you have to do here in the Kingdom.

Last spring I found some pretty plants in my son’s garden in Memphis, and asked what they were. My daughter-in-law had obtained them from a friend who shared the plants with her, but didn’t know what they were. Half of the pretty, heart-shaped leaves were green, and the other half were variegated. I was fascinated! Loralei tried to share¬† them with me, but I really didn’t have a place to put them.

It’s like this with our spiritual heart, we may not know where some of the feelings and characteristics come from, but we know what we like, and we share it. Loralei’s plants made a very pretty groundcover for her shady spot by the front porch.

As a gardener, however, I worried about what other characteristics might be hidden in that plant of unknown origin. Is it an invasive pest? What about that funny looking flower spike? Will it cause allergies? So, the little striped-heart plants did not come home with me.

What does God find in our hearts? We can hide our heart’s condition from our doctors, just by delaying to get it checked out. The Great Physician is not fooled at all by our apparent spiritual health. Even in the absence of physical heart risk indicators like high blood pressure, we could still have a blockage or an irregular rhythm. This can cause a problem when we least expect it. Even if you attend church, live an outwardly good life, and profess Christianity, you could still be at risk for problems of your heart, spiritually speaking. Check it out before it causes irreparable harm! Keep it healthy forever.

This year I started a program to read or listen to the entire Bible in 2012. You may have done the same. I’m sad to say I’m extremely behind in my schedule already.

What better way is there to keep a healthy heart than to nourish it properly? “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against Thee” (Psalm 119:11).

Bless your hearts!

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