Bear the Heart of Christ

A little while ago, a Korean newcomer actress committed suicide due to financial hardship and depression. Why would a beautiful young lady with a bright future ahead of her commit suicide? Because she has failed to safeguard her heart. She has fallen helpless victim to the constant assault of emotional agony and misery in her heart and finally chosen the last resort. People have long acknowledged the susceptibility of the body to diseases, yet they for many years did not have knowledge that the mind can also give in to diseases. It was only recently that people gained deeper insight into mental, emotional, and psychological sufferings through the advancement of neurology, sociology, and psychology. Whereas physical ailments are easily noticed and appropriate treatments are sought, emotional ailments are largely ignored. In spite of their invisible symptoms, emotional ailments can destroy our lives. It is not without reason that the Bible says “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it” (Proverbs 4:23).

There is not one truly righteous person in this world (Ecclesiastes 7:20). People may do good when compelled by a sudden desire to do good. However, this compulsion also applies to evil desires and evil deeds. Depending on the types of thoughts we dwell on, we can be either good or bad. Devoid of complex minds, dogs merely obey their instinct. They will always be animals. Men, on the other hand, are different. We can be either the agents of God or the agents of the devil depending on what and how we think. It is especially important for us believers to nourish our minds with the Word of God and good, divine thoughts. Christianity is the religion of the mind. Infilling of the Holy Spirit is none other than safeguarding one’s mind.

Successful interpersonal relationships and happiness depend on one’s state of mind (Ecclesiastes 7:21-22). It is our state of mind that determines our perspectives and attitudes towards others. The author of Ecclesiastes does not identify as being full of evil money or knowledge. Instead, he sees the human heart as being full of evil (Ecclesiastes 9:3). Produces, meat, and fish spoil unless stored properly. Likewise, our hearts spoil unless safeguarded (Jeremiah 17:9; Mark 7:20-23). Let us defend our hearts against negative thoughts and defeatism; let us drive out hate and resentment (Ephesians 4:31-32). We must be very cautious, lest fear and anxiety desensitize our hearts (Ecclesiastes 8:1; 2 Timothy 1:7; Luke 21:34). Anxiety hardens our face and increases anger. May we continually wash our corrupt hearts with the blood of Christ and renew them through the Word of God and repentance.

We must bear the heart of Christ and learn from Him gentleness and humility by taking upon us His yoke (Matthew 11:29). Apostle Paul tells us that the heart of Christ is the heart of humility and obedience (Philippians 2:5-7). Men sinned and became corrupt because of their arrogance. We must be humble before God and others. What is humility? It is valuing others above us (Philippians 2:3). Because Jesus valued us above Himself, He died on the Cross in our place. We must value others above us and respect them. Furthermore, we must respect and obey the Word of God more than our own dignity and wisdom. Our Lord exhibited the ultimate humility through His obedience to the Father even to His death. The gentle heart of Jesus signifies obedience rooted in the Word of God.

The heart of humility and obedience needs to be trained as well. In Korea, there was a 600 pound young man who was given a life expectancy of 40 years. After 12 days of rigorous diet and exercise, he lost over 30 lbs. Later, he said in an interview, “I strictly followed the diet and exercise regimen given by my trainer.” The secret to diet success or building better bodies is obeying the trainer. We as believers are called to build better hearts. It is not our physical bodies, money, or children that we take with us when we depart from this life to our heavenly abode. We only take with us our hearts and character. Let us be ever mindful of the 4th verse of the hymn We Shall be Like Him: “We shall be like Him, the Hope of the Soul; We shall be like Him, made perfectly whole; Caught up with saints, as firmament clears; We shall be like Him, when Jesus appears.” The essence of life lies in the heart. May all of us bear the heart of Christ and become transformed to His Holy Image.

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