February has nearly ended but before it does, here is a thought… February was American Heart Month, when government and health organizations strive to educate the nation and raise public awareness that can lead to life-saving changes. One of the sobering facts to which this month calls our attention is that heart disease is the number one killer of women in the United States. Yet the good news is that heart disease can be both treated and prevented.
Spiritual heart disease is not much different. It, too, is a killer—of all people. However, the good news is that it is also completely preventable. Just as with a medical disease, we need to be aware and alert. We need to know the symptoms. And we need to inform others, too. This doesn’t mean pointing the finger if we see signs of spiritual sickness in someone else—far from it, because we all share in this predicament. Instead, the message of God, his Word, and Jesus is on prevention: stopping this disease.
Thankfully, prevention doesn’t rely on our own efforts, but on work already done to save us. God is the one who replaces a stone-cold, lifeless heart with a new, healthy, flesh-beating heart. Jesus is the one who makes this possible. We receive a heart that is pure, like the New England snow sparkling white in the sun outside my window today. We are given a heart that can love God and love others, too.
Still we have a responsibility to make lifestyle changes: to care for our new heart; to not let our hearts wander; to serve God; to do our best to lead a blameless life; to teach what we know to our children and grandchildren; but most of all, to love God with all our heart, and to love other people.
YOLO! You Only Live Once—so live with a healthier heart.