By age 36 my life was a wreck because my heart was in shambles. My heart, the central source of my person and life, was everything that it wasn’t created to be. Prideful, arrogant, unloving, selfish, cruel, deceptive, and separated from God who created it. Everything I was putting into my heart was unhealthy and as a result so was just about everything coming out of it. I was internally miserable and a very uncaring and selfish person even if things appeared from the outside to be good in my life. My heart knew the real me and I secretly hated myself but that same self was so prideful it wouldn’t seek help or real answers. I loved and hated myself at the same time. My heart was a bomb ready to explode.
My loving heavenly Father and Lord Jesus Christ, whom I mocked and cursed with foul language on a regular basis, were about to save me by their grace and mercy. They loved me even when I was wretched and gave me a spiritual heart transplant that I didn’t even know I needed. Amazingly, they didn’t stop there but led me to become a healthy Christian with a new heart that was beating for God and His purpose in my life.
If the spiritual heart is the real person that we are before God and the source and control center of our lives, then we certainly want it to be healthy! An easy way to learn about having a healthy spiritual heart is to first study a diseased/unhealthy one. For simplicity’s sake we will examine two extremes of the spectrum. This week the example of an unhealthy heart will be from an unsaved non-Christian. Next week in Part III the healthy heart will be from a saved Christian who is in a right relationship with God. I will be the example for both. The same format from the company analogy diagram in Lesson 1 (Anatomy & Physiology) will be used.
I. Unhealthy Heart: Unsaved Non-Christian (Greg Viehman, MD before October 30, 2003)
I was putting the world and idols into my heart. I was focused on myself and the things of this world (money, prestige, possessions, pleasure, vacations, etc.). God was not in my heart nor the CEO of “the company.” I was my own god controlling my own “company/destiny” from the throne of my heart, which was blinded to the things of God. I had rotten fruit (lawlessness) while they had plastic and pretend fruit that looked real but was really imitation (legalism). Both my religious friends and I were selfish in our motives. True agape love (unselfish giving), which only comes from God, was absent because God was absent from my life in a real personal relationship. I had anger issues originating from fear. Fear of death, fear of losing all my idols (money, prestige, being young and healthy, etc.). Nothing could quench my inner thirst which led to frustration and depression.
My heart was spiritually dead and separated from God. It was incurable and diseased far beyond any treatment that modern medical science could provide. The only cure was a spiritual heart transplantation from God Himself, but I didn’t know Him or believe in Him. For 36 years my entire culture and personal experiences did not teach me about a real and personal God who wanted to be the center of my life. It had been etched on my heart that God was either unknowable, non-existent, or irrelevant to daily life.
The diagram below summarizes the state of an unhealthy non-Christian heart. It is designed for teaching purposes. No single individual would likely have all of these characteristics, but I had most of them. It shows behavior of religious and non-religious people.
Thank goodness a heart transplant was coming from Jesus. Find out what happened and how next week!
GregV TheWord MD, Spiritual Doctor