Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ.” – Galatians 1:10 (NIV)
One of the best gifts that you can give God, yourself, and others is self-awareness. I will be 53 years old this year, and although I still have a lot of tread on my tires, I am finding that I am having a little trouble keeping up with my busy self these days. I am needing to see the medical mechanic on a more regular basis and God is slowing me down and helping me to realize that I have to be more intentional about taking care of my mental, physical and spiritual self.
Early in my walk with Christ, I was made aware of a powerful little booklet called My Heart Christ’s Home, that was written by Robert Boyd Munger (1911-2001). If you have never taken the time to read this booklet, it is available online and it will bless you. I don’t want to recapitulate the entire story here, since you can read it for yourself, but in this little story the human heart is portrayed as a house with different rooms. A man invites Christ into his heart and eventually Christ is given access to each room in his heart. The library, the dining room, the living room, the workroom, the rec room, and the stinky hall closet where his rotten things are hidden.
“Then a thought came to me. I said to myself, “I have been trying to keep this heart of mine clear for Christ. I start on one room and no sooner have I cleaned that then another room is dirty. I begin on the second room and the first room becomes dusty again. I am so tired and weary trying to maintain a clean heart and an obedient life. I am just not up to it! So I ventured a question: “Lord, is there any chance that You would take over the responsibility of the whole house and operate it for me and with me just as You did that closet? Would You take the responsibility to keep my heart what it ought to be and my life where it ought to be?” – My Heart Christ’s Home, Robert Boyd Munger
It is vital that we take care of our hearts through exercise, eating healthy foods and by actively working on stress management. As Mr. Munger so fittingly points out, it is even more critical that we take care of the spiritual condition of our heart.
Lately, I have come to the spiritual revelation that Jesus lives in my heart, but I don’t have any separate rooms. It’s one big open space and I let anyone into my heart that knocks. That is good and it is bad. It’s good because I love letting people into my heart because I want them to meet Jesus there. It’s bad because sometimes my heart gets so full of people, who have differing demands and needs, that it can get a little overwhelming. When my heart gets too full of people and their needs I begin to have trouble sleeping and my eyes start leaking a little too much with emotional overflow.
I’m not saying that I should stop letting people into my heart. What I’m realizing is that it is not humanly possible to attend to all of the needs of the people whom I let in. If Jesus tells me to feed or care for the people that I have let into my heart, then I will do it, one person, one need, one day at a time. Our focus should be on pleasing Jesus and not on pleasing people.
So what about you? What rooms do you have in your heart and who, and what, are living in them?