Recognizing heart issues happens when we’re willing to face the truth, especially during this year-long pandemic. Living in lockdown feels like our lemons are squeezed so hard that the bitter taste of the squirt hits the eye, leaving us blinded for a second. And we feel trapped until we open our eyes to see what really matters. The condition of our heart, physically and spiritually.
I’ve recognized some issues that I didn’t know were even a problem or that they even existed. I just didn’t want to acknowledge them. I’m embarrassed. Since they involve close relationships, I pray that that this post will bring healing to anyone dealing with these. Though we are all broken in some way, I’m asking what behaviours have I exhibited this past year and perhaps, throughout my life? I’m ashamed to admit, but here are three areas.
- hurtful words
- silent treatment
- prideful heart
We can speak positive words but if our heart is broken in some way, we tend to behave negatively and miss it when something good shows up. We’re blinded. Though we are admonished to think on the good according to the Scriptures, (Philippians 4:8) we still miss the mark due to our sinful nature.
When we look beyond the hurt and pain, we can see hope, even when our rights have been violated like perhaps during this pandemic, for the good of others. When dealing with the fruits of brokenness we can trust God to bring wholeness through his grace and finished work on the cross.
But where do we start? Recognize that we all are broken in some way. Admit we are in need of a Savior and a healer.
The Lord is close to the broken hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.Psalm 34:18
Longing for healing is a step in the right direction, but we need to go further. Spending time with Jesus through the Holy Spirit and letting him wash our hearts with his Word. Finding scriptures on the love of God will install in us that God is good and cares. Our pains are his pains.
Why do we lash out so easily? We ask. Perhaps we realize we are broken on the inside. If we’re true to ourselves, we should examine our heart. Any hurting area will be healed if we let the Holy Spirit shine light on the broken pieces of our life.
Uncalled for anger is a sign that there is some hurt in our life or someone hurt us. It’s said “hurt people hurt other people”. If we’ve been violated physically or emotionally and stuffed it all inside, at the appropriate time and circumstance the pain will come out in inappropriate ways. And we lash out at others for no apparent reason.
Even though I don’t want to admit it, I know I’ve lashed out at people for no reason. Not until the Holy Spirit revealed this to me, was I made aware of this behavior. My poor husband received the brunt of it. But thanks to God, I’m not the same as I used to be, but still on the path to healing.
Many other signs of a broken heart are evident when people are in relationships with others who may or may not be broken in the same area as we are. In marriage for example, a spouse who gives the silent treatment may be in pain him/herself. Being silent does not solve the problem, but exasperates it and creates anger.
If we look inside ourselves, we may find that there’s been a hurt from the past that hasn’t been dealt with. The question remains. How do we deal with this? Allowing the washing of the Word of God cleanse us from all sin. And as we confess our faults to one another, we are healed. My behavior in this area is so evident because I just stuff it inside and won’t talk about it in fear of hurting my husband, for instance.
A critical spirit could also be a sign of a broken heart. Thinking poorly of ourselves, we try to boost our self-worth by criticizing others or their actions. Nobody is perfect but we try to look better than others by putting them down, either in thought or words. If we are honest with ourselves, we all think better of ourselves at times when we see others who are less. For example, we think we can do something better.
Test me Lord, and try me, examine my heart and my mind…Psalm 62:2
Since we’ve been home in lockdown, my husband has increased his share of the housework. It’s made me realize that I need to think right. His cooking is better than mine for some meals, so I try not to criticize because I want him to feel good and continue cooking! Long ago I learned not to sweat the small stuff like when the pillows on the bed are not lined up exactly. Or when the counter overflows with water after he’s cleaned the kitchen. Or when the toilet seat is wet when I sit on it! I don’t do it better, only differently, so I’m not going to criticize. Though I instructed him to dry the seat with a cloth.
Recognizing why we behave the we do sometimes is not easy but gets easier when we forgive ourselves and others who have hurt us. Here’s a blog from a few yeas ago that deals with other heart issues.
In conclusion, expecting healthy relationships takes dedication, and facing the truth takes humility. Once we recognize and deal with our heart issues, we can enjoy life more fully. God is good.
If anything resonates with you and you want to ask a question, please leave a comment. Thank you for reading.
BE courageous today!
www://bible.com Andy Stanley has a good 5-day devotional on Enemies of the Heart.