By Contributing writer, Jessica
Recently God has been teaching me about my heart and maturity. Just like my mind is prone to wander and needs to be reset throughout the day to what is “lovely, pure, honorable and true,” so also does my heart need to be protected against what I allow in.
As Jesus was speaking to his disciples at the Last Supper He offered them this little gem:
“Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful” (John 14:27 NASB).
I love this mini warning: Do NOT LET your heart be troubled and DO NOT LET it be fearful.
We allow so many things into our hearts over the course of our lives…. over the course of a single day.
For a long time I lived under the burden of being watched. My daily life was suffocated with the presence of those who were never satisfied. These demanding places that had been consistently monitoring my marriage, home, family ,and children (circling the block of my life so to speak) also began to monitor my public writings. The words that God was using to shape me, show me, and heal me were now being used and resented. What was a life-giving place for me, writing is like prayer to my heart, became another space where the life-suckers tried to have their say.
It broke my heart because I love to write and I didn’t know how to reconcile this life-giving part of me with those voices that resented my truth and needed to be right about me.
So I became angry, my writing became angry, and then I LET IN resentment. I allowed my anger at being stalked and watched and nitpicked to have too much say in my heart.
I allowed my heart to be troubled.
We all do this. Something happens and we are swimming in over our heads. Our hearts feel flooded, troubled, and afraid.
But Jesus did not come to bring condemnation. He does not leave us with shame or fearful hearts. God is nothing like the earthly fathers who are intent on guilt-tripping or shame us into appropriate behavior. He does not harbor resentment at our choices. He calls us to lives of holiness found in relationship with His son. He shows us by example. He leads us into lives of peace found when we cling to our Prince of Peace, Jesus.
You make a choice.
Every single day you choose to let fear or peace reign in your heart.
You make a choice to allow that trouble of: spilled milk, dirty laundry, crumbs where you just swept, people getting in your business, a mother in law spreading filth, an argument with your sister, a disjointed marriage, a church member dying, a grandparent suffering – you make a choice to allow those things to trouble your heart so that you obsess over them, you can’t get over them, you make mountains out of mole hills vs. clinging to peace.
I know that this can sound trite and warm, fuzzy Christianeze and slightly annoying because the truth is that life is not easy. Clinging to peace is not easy. Cancer is real. Death is real. Relationships fracture beyond repair. You break up with your church. Children disappoint. Life is hard.
But Jesus is saying Do NOT LET this stuff in.
Don’t allow it take up space in there.
Don’t you let the Enemy have a foothold (Ephesians 4:26-27).
Guard your heart…for it determines the course of your life (Proverbs 4:23).
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God, And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things” (Philippians 4:6-8 NASB).
What have you been learning about trouble or peace? Can you see the things you have LET IN to your heart?