Hey guys, here’s Part II of my article on wholeness. If you didn’t read Part I you can check it out here. As always, like, share, subscribe, and comment, etc. Let me know if you like this idea of breaking up posts into several sections. Like I said in Part I, it really helps me to get your feedback on what makes an enjoyable reading process. I want to create content that helps people and enriches lives, but for a blog, that only works if people actually enjoy reading it so any insight into what you guys like is greatly appreciated. So without further adieu, here goes Part II:
I realized really fast that if I’m going be a bridge to healing for the brokenness in the hearts of others I needed to address the brokenness that existed in my heart that was keeping me from walking in wholeness. This is a process, I don’t know if it’s ever done but there’s seasons where I get in the hole and have to remind myself to deal with my brokenness.
The emotional rise and fall will always exist in life but we can learn to respond rather than react by identifying what the heart is for, and by default what the heart is not for (i.e. brokenness). So these are five functions of the heart that I’ve identified in scripture and have fallen back on time and time again to maintain stability and wholeness. These five points have helped me move mountains in the area of walking in my inheritance of having a whole heart.
1.) The heart loves. The heart was created for love. Matthew 6:25 says this:
Love the Lord your God with all your heart
It does NOT say to love the Lord with all of our actions, all of our thoughts, all of our worship. Get it? It says to love the Lord with all our hearts because when we do that, everything else follows suit. When we love the Lord with all our hearts, our actions portray the love in our hearts. Our thoughts are righteous thoughts springing from the heart. Our worship is authentic because we actually feel in our heart what we are worshipping about. Love the Lord with all of your heart. It’s as simple as that.
The word “broken” simply means that it doesn’t work. It’s lacking in some fundamental area to be able to perform its function. So if there’s brokenness it makes it hard to love because love is a function of the heart.
2.) The heart trusts. Proverbs 3:5 says:
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding
Notice that it doesn’t say “trust in the Lord with all of your mind.” This was a tough one for me to learn, I’m still learning it. I’m like most people in the sense that I like to know why I am doing something. So naturally, in my trusting, I question why. Then God always reminds me of this verse and says, “Don’t try and trust me with your mind, just trust me with your heart. When you ask ‘why?’ you’re trying to make your understanding of the situation be what supports your decision to trust me; all I want is for you to trust me because you know who I am. You know that’s good enough regardless the nature of the ‘why?’.” Our hearts were made to trust, separate from our brains.
The struggle is that when we get betrayed; that stays in our hearts and mind for a long time and then we let that spill over to our relationship with God. Man betrayed me, I was let down, I was lied to, I was abandoned, I was raped, I was abused, I was damaged by people so I don’t trust anybody. And that brokenness in our hearts keeps us from trusting God.
Now, what I’m not saying is that my heart doesn’t break for people who have experienced hurt, and pain, and brokenness at the hands of others. I work as a missionary on the campus of Penn State. I get a notification email every single day about another sexual assault that has happened. Sometimes I get five or six in a single day. And those are just the ones that get reported, that’s not even the ones that go unreported or the ones that go undetected because of the copious amounts of substance abuse that surrounds it. Every time I receive one of those texts, my heart breaks. Every single time. Part of me breaks for somebody who’s life just radically changed for the worse in an instant; and part of me breaks because I know that more times than not, an emotional wall just went up between somebody and the love of Jesus that can bring healing. I understand that the brokenness is justified and not at all deserved. I just don’t want anybody to be trapped there.
3.) The heart thinks. Proverbs 23:7 says (paraphrased) as you think in your heart so are you. The actual text paints a picture of a man who is “inwardly calculating” and says one thing on the outside but does not mean it because his heart is thinking or feeling something else.
In other words, when I do something, it has been affected by what I feel in my heart. If I say something but don’t mean it, the reason I don’t mean it is because my heart isn’t on board with what’s coming out of my mouth. This is the spirit of the people pleaser. This is the spirit of somebody who schemes and tricks, leaving a wake of damaged people behind them. Which is also done because of brokenness in their own hearts and simply proves the point that what you have in your heart you will also give away to others, but I digress.
The point I want to drive home is that you think as you believe. You think a certain way because you first think something in your heart that gives validity to that thought pattern.
4.) The heart speaks. Luke 6:45 says this:
The good person out of the goodness of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.
Your heart has a voice and that voice comes out in everything you communicate.
Have you ever had somebody notice that something is off with your demeanor or mood? My fiancé does this to me all the time, she’s so good at it that it’s frustrating. She’ll look at me and go, “What’s wrong? You seem off.” Usually I just shrug it off and say that I’m just tired or that nothing is wrong even though, a lot of times, there usually is. Why is she able to pick up on that? Because my heart is screaming something. My heart it screaming it’s condition and because the heart is such a powerful thing and it speaks, I can’t hide it from somebody that truly knows me, no matter the words I use.
The heart has a voice and it was meant to speak and be heard, it will be heard. I want to make sure that what my heart is speaking is an encouraging message of wholeness in Jesus. Which is why Jesus came to bind the brokenness that exists there, so that my voice can speak of it!
5.) The final function of the heart is that the heart believes. Romans 6:9-10 says,
If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes…
If you have a hard time accepting or believing truth in your heart, I promise that it’s because of some brokenness that is there. If you have trouble believing that Jesus loves you, and not just because he loves everybody but that he actually loves you and who you are, then you have a broken heart. Ladies, every last one of you, if you don’t believe that you are fearfully and wonderfully made, and that you are beautiful and powerful, then there’s brokenness. Men, if you have trouble believing that you are a warrior and God created you a mighty mighty man, with an amazing calling on your life, then there’s brokenness.
The good news is that Jesus came for this purpose of binding that brokenness so that we can believe all of the incredible truths that He has spoken about us. He literally came to bind this brokenness and send it back to the depths from where it came. Hallelujah! this is good news!
Pain will harden our hearts. This isn’t ground breaking revelation, we know this. We can all look at people we know or even ourselves and identify how pain hardens hearts and turns them into stone. The thing we need to understand is that the ability to harden your heart to pain isn’t a bad thing. It’s a gift.
We have these functions as humans that we have to perform. We have to go to work, we have to be there for friends and family, we have to be parents, and spouses, and employees, and counselors, and all these things that we can’t let pain get in the way of. And it’s a gift to be able to separate the pain from our function.
I mean, for crying out loud, the bible says right in Proverbs, “Guard your heart above all else because it determines the course of your life.” The heart has this incredible ability to guard itself with walls in seasons of pain, the problem is that people, too often, never let those walls down. Even after we come out of that painful season.
The function, emotion, and guardian part of our hearts are all essential parts in the mechanism that is the heart. These things working together is what allows us to love, trust, think, speak, believe, etc. The guardian part of the heart is great, the problem is that we weren’t meant to guard our hearts forever. That’s a recipe to get really tired and weak really quickly. Guarding our hearts in pain is a reactionary response in a season but we have to know when to let the guard down. Because before too long, we’ve built walls because we felt like others were closing in causing damage; but before we realize it, we’re isolated and we hate ourselves for putting ourselves in that position. And it’s this vicious cycle that leads to self-hatred but started as a legitimate function for defense and safety.
Self-hatred is killing the church. It is absolutely killing the church. If I hate my emotions and I feel like I can’t escape being sad, then that seeps into my function and I binge on my function because it builds a wall so I don’t have to deal with the emotions. So I’m super productive in my calling for a time so that I don’t have to deal with my feelings but eventually I’m just exhausted and emotionless and then I’m angry and the part of me trying to guard my heart is saying, “Above all else, guard your heart.” And I’m screaming inside saying, “I’m trying so hard but I just can’t do it anymore!”
God never intended for us to guard our function from our pain or our pain from our function. He wants us to bring it all to the Healer so that he can make our hearts whole and free from brokenness. The pure in heart see God (Matt 5:8), we’re going to have open visions of God, as plain as day but we have to take our hearts before God to get rid of the brokenness or else we’ll never be pure in heart.
Pain is unavoidable but misery because of the pain is totally optional. Pain isn’t the enemy, but what we do with the pain can become the enemy. If we don’t take our pain and brokenness to the healer then it will eat us alive because it will never get taken care of and it will lead us to misery and self-hate and all of these things that the enemy wants. And that’s not what God wants. God’s heart breaks with us in pain. When we’re breaking, He’s breaking with us but if we give way and just accept the brokenness then we’re letting the enemy win. We can’t give way to our brokenness. We have to seek the healing that is our inheritance so that we can walk as whole and complete children of God.
I was sobbing this morning as I was thinking about this and certain things in my own heart that I need to seek healing for and God just said to me, “Guard your heart, yes, but don’t guard it from me! Guard your intimacy with me above all else! Don’t let your broken heart be a higher priority than intimacy with me; because I went through it with you. I was right there. My heart’s broken too.” He’s sitting there saying to you, “I’m so broken with you. My heart is broken that your baby died. My heart is broken that you were abandoned. My heart is broken that your Father was absent. My heart is broken that you were raped and abused and exploited. I’m broken with you, so please just let me in!”
Jesus is the only one who knows exactly what you’re feeling in that moment, don’t shut him out because he’s the only person who can touch your heart. He’s the only one who knows exactly what it is you’re feeling, down to every last detail. Guard your intimacy with Jesus above all else because in death and in life, we can be confident that we’re covered by the power of his great great love! Believe it with me! We want a generation of believers who know what it means to be whole at heart. Embrace your inheritance, we were created for this wholeness!
If you’ve made it this far in reading this, I want to leave it with a prayer. Pray it over yourself every day if you have to. I do sometimes. Or just pray your own version, but pray it, please.
Holy Spirit, I let you into my pain. Jesus, I let you into my pain. I’m tired of guarding my heart from you. I’m tired of trying to guard my pain from my past and I want to learn to bring it to my healer and live from a whole heart because that’s what you give me.