Life is full of situations and structures that require us to filter our behavior, actions, and words through some sort of moral screen so that we can function in a healthy way. For instance, there are things you don’t do at work not because you don’t want to do them, but simply because doing them would get you fired. Similarly, there are things that we want to say to certain people, but we don’t because saying those things would have certain undesirable consequences.
So we learn to watch our behavior very carefully (some of us a LOT better than others…) but we often ignore the deeper place … the place of desire deep underneath all of our filters … the place out of which “all the issues of life” flow as the writer of Proverbs puts it. The heart.
Sooner or later something will break through our carefully constructed filters. A situation that comes up, something someone says, some disappointing news comes our way and we … react. And how we react in those moments … when life doesn’t go our way … is indicative of the condition of our hearts.
Your boss tells you that he is promoting someone else instead of you, and you feel it. You don’t get let into a meeting you felt like you should’ve been a part of, and you feel it. The thought passes through your mind: everyone’s getting married and I’m still single. You look at other people that are your age and seemingly further along in life that you are, and you feel it … that familiar pang of … who knows what it is … anger, jealously, resentment, bitterness … and there is this haunting instinct that there is something broken inside of you that can no longer go unchecked…
True, some of these situations are petty, small, and insignificant, but we are still affected by them. And yet other things are devastatingly wounding. But, whether small or big, life’s situations have a way of wounding us on a heart-level in such a way that if we allow those wounds to go unchecked they will grow to the point that not only do they bring destruction into all of our relationships, but they warp our entire view of reality.
How does a person work on those things? How do you fix the heart-issues that you know are causing you to assume things, judge people, compare yourself, criticize others, withdraw from others, and wound them out of your own woundedness? We all know how to do filter-work … but what about heart-work?
This is the most important kind of work you could do. Its a work that is sometimes intagible, and always requires patience. Its a work that requires the help of Someone Greater … a Heart Surgeon who can diagnose what is in your heart. Its a work of art … the work of heart … and the canvas is your entire life. Don’t wait to start this great work. Your entire life is at stake…