It is your spiritual heart that will guide your life. Therefore, we need to be diligent in protecting it and developing it. Consider the truth from Proverbs about the spiritual life:
Proverbs 4:23 (NLT) – Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.
So How Do We Guard Our Heart?
Guarding our heart is all about doing the hard INSIDE work of life. It takes time. Guarding our heart requires digging around to see what is healthy and un-healthy in our life. Healthy living requires feedback from faithful/godly friends. Guarding our heart requires us to be humble and teachable to the grace and truth that God brings our way. Let’s look at each of these briefly today to see how we can start living life from the INSIDE out.
Everyday we are either in a period of “Good Time” or “Bad Time”. Good time is when you life is producing healthy fruit in your relationships and your skill set. Bad time is when you life is not producing fruit in your relationships or skill set or the fruit that you are producing is rotten. Everyone goes through periods of time when they are not producing fruit or the fruit that they are producing is rotten.
In my first few years of pastoral ministry I developed some bad habits (rotten fruit); I was in a period of bad time. I needed an out-side influence to come into my life and reveal truth and grace to me. It was a hard season to go through but I needed it. The hard season and the truth (with grace) allowed my to move into a season of “good time” or a season of ministry where I started producing healthy fruit in ministry.
GRACE AND TRUTH
The human heart does not produce grace or truth on it’s own. We have to go outside of ourselves to get those two ingredients to growth. We are closed systems needing outside influence to grow to new places. When I am sad or lonely, I cannot “hug myself” to feel better. When I am stuck in a rut spiritually or relationally I cannot “imagine” new truth to get me out of the rut. I have to go outside of myself to get the grace and truth that I need to grow past the present problems in my life.
INSIDE Out living requires that I allow others into my life to see the “real me” so that they can give me the truth, grace and ACCEPTANCE I need to grow. The struggle is that we fear that when we allow others into our life to see the real me they will not accept us. This is a HUGE issue to life growth. It requires us to be humble and teachable and to take a step of faith. To take a risk. But listen, it is in relationships that we truly or finally get healthy. It is in relationship where we can have REAL feedback on our life that help us to become fruitful. I need relationships and you do too!
Inside Out Living
The logo for my business is based on the truth from Proverbs 4:23 and the parable of the fig tree in Luke 13. The logo is a tree with four different colors of growth. Each color represents an area of our life that we need to work at developing:
- Orange – Relational Health
- Green – Spiritual Health
- Blue – Mental Health
- Teal – Physical Health
As we develop these four areas of our life we will become fruitful and skillful at dealing with the stress in our life. We will be guarding our heart!
Want more insight?
Consider a few consulting visits with me (in the office, over the phone or in a Zoom Conference Room). I can help you cut through the clutter of life to get un-stuck and gain some success in life.
What are you doing to gain ownership of your life? Leave a comment below, I’d love to hear what is working for you.