The Heart Transplant
The following is a Facebook note written by my daughter Stephanie, who has wisdom beyond her years but doesn’t know how special she is to the world. I hope that after you read this you will tell her.
It’s funny how our emotions propel us, as humans, so effectively. Our heart can drive us to do so many things: to protect or to attack; to hate or to love; to destroy or to build; to give life or to take life. It’s amazing how in a bout of passion, we can say a million things that we don’t really mean. We can tell people we’ll love them forever, promise them that we’ll never change. We can tell people we hate them and want nothing to do with them; all of it without really meaning it because in a moment of unguarded passion you said what was in your heart at the moment.
Yet, what I’ve come to realize is that it’s with our heart that we make the brashest decisions, it’s with our heart that we make the biggest mistakes, and often it doesn’t just affect us, but the people around us. It’s ironic because we grow up being told to “follow your heart”, without fully realizing that without a balance of heart, spirit and wisdom, you can make the biggest mistakes of your life.
I can’t begin to tell you how many times I’ve acted out of passion to protect or defend people I care about, and completely by accident I end up hurting the people around me—the people I consider important. I can’t count the times that in a moment of excitement (the bad kind) that I said something hurtful to someone I loved, not because I mean it but because I felt it in my heart at the moment.
The bible says it best in Jeremiah 17:9, “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?”
I’ll be the first to admit that I can’t decipher half of what I feel at any given moment. I’m a passionate person and a lot of my decisions are based in that, but what I’ve discovered lately is that you can’t make every decision based on how you feel. You won’t always feel like doing the right thing, and I can personally attest to not wanting to do the right thing some times. You won’t always feel like giving people grace, especially not when you disagree with them or when you’re annoyed with them or at the end of your rope with people. That day will come when the people around you are rubbing you the wrong way, and you’ll be expected as a Christian to do the right thing. The question is: will you be able to do it?
This is something I’m learning now, a lesson so fresh that I still have bandages.
People are amazing at following their heart; you really don’t even have to be told to follow your heart in most cases. Innately, we’re selfish creatures, and we’re good at following our hearts. No one has to convince the boy to chase the girl and no one has to convince the parent to protect their kid, but so often we have to be convinced to love God, to seek Him, and to want His will for us.
We leave the heart that God gave us unattended, and so we make decisions based on temporary, circumstantial feelings. Instead of setting our hearts and minds on higher things (Colossians 3:2), we settle for our things because our things feel better. Our hearts are flawed, marred by selfish desires and wants and so frequently because of it we neglect the integrity of it so we can satisfy it. But what if we were to trade our hearts for God’s heart? What if we stopped divorcing heart and spirit and made decisions based on discernment?
What if we were to stop for a second and say, “What Would Jesus Do”? Because it’s more than just some cheesy Christian wristband slogan, it’s an actual lifestyle. It’s allowing God to take you through your journey His way, it’s allowing God to move people in and out of your life despite how you feel about it, and it’s surrendering your will, your desires, your wants, for His because God wants His best for you.
We would make life so much easier if we took on this humble spirit of Lordship and submission because God’s way will always be higher than our ways and in the end better.
There is a way that seems right to a man,
but in the end it leads to death.
Just something that’s been on my heart.