By Dr. Dan Coflin, Pastor, River of Life Church
Do you diet? How many pounds have you lost? How many times? Seems there are diets for almost everything. Diets for weight loss, diets for diabetics, carb free diets, fat free diets, diets for people with allergies, diets to gain muscle mass, diets to get rid of brain fog, what to eat, what not to eat, when to eat, how much to eat, and the lists go on and on and it can be very confusing.
While it is important to eat healthy foods for your physical health, I would like to share with you a different kind of diet for your spiritual health.
Jesus said, “It’s not what kind of food goes into a person’s mouth that defiles them but what comes out of their heart.” (Mt. 15).
You might ask, “How do I know what is in my heart?” Jesus tells us, “…out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” (Mt. 12:34) I can know what my heart (thoughts, ideas, plans, intensions) is filled with by just listening to what I talk about. Jesus calls those things the “treasure of the heart.”
There are good treasures and evil treasures. Obviously, good treasures produce good things for you and others. Those treasures are expressed by words that encourage, strengthen, edify, give confidence, assistance, and help to those who hear you. Evil treasures that come from the heart are words that are hurtful, wounding, judgmental, condemning, belittling, demeaning, mocking, and critical.
So, how do those kinds of treasures get into our hearts? You know the old saying, “garbage in, garbage out.” Whatever you fill yourself (heart) with is really what you treasure. We fill our hearts with the things that we see, hear, read, watch, and listen to. What are those things? They are things which like seeds get planted in our hearts. Those seeds have the potential of producing a crop that will fill your heart and define your life.
Some people are filled with hurts and wounds that they have experienced by what others have said or done to them. Their thoughts ruminate about those terrible words or experiences which in turn plant seeds of hate or vengeance. Unworthiness and fear fill their hearts and their mouths seldom speak of anything else. What is your heart filled with?
God has a way of cleansing your heart and replacing the hardened dirt with soil that is ready to receive good seeds and bring forth a harvest to bless you and everyone else.
A diet for a healthy heart:
• Forgive: People who have hurt you have no ability to remove the pain they inflicted. Only you can forgive them and not let their sin determine your future.
• Eat the Word of God (the Bible): “Your words were found, and I did eat them, and they became unto me the joy and rejoicing of my heart…” (Jer. 15:16)
• Guard your heart (Pro. 4:23). What goes in is what comes out.
• Listen to yourself. Is what you are saying what you really want for your life?
These steps may be simple to some and difficult for others, but God’s grace is more than enough to impower you to eat a spiritually healthy diet when you call upon Him for help.