About a month ago, I read Andy Stanley’s Enemies of the Heart. While one could argue that half the book is an introduction, it really is a good book and I have found it personally helpful. Early on in the book he points out that we are taught to monitor our behavior but not our hearts. That is unfortunate for at least two reasons. First, we can develop serious heart issues without detecting the problem until it is difficult to fix. Second, it is unrealistic. Everything we say, think, or do passes through our hearts. Heart trouble eventually appears as behavioral trouble.
A second observation that Andy Stanley makes is that once one learns he has a (physical) heart blockage, one will do whatever it takes to get it fixed. We understand what is at stake. So, we put all the options on the table – diet change, exercise, medication, surgery, etc. This simple observation really helped me. I admitted to God that I had heart issues and told him that whatever it took, I was willing to deal it, no matter the cost. Over the next week, God and I did some serious heart surgery. It hurt! But my heart is working well again and I’m experiencing freedom and joy in an area that had been blocked for a few years. At the same time, I’m finding that I have to really monitor my heart! Three of the four enemies that Stanley describes continue to attempt to infect my heart. Fortunately, I have the Holy Spirit and helpful practices that bring these hurtful emotions to my attention and enable me to deal with them. God is good!