Years ago, there was a term that came about. It still gets used for various things. The term was “Heart Healthy.” It was used for all sorts of things but mostly for foods. For the stuff we take into our systems. Which was great advice. Eat food that is good for the heart!
I struggle with food. It is one of my biggest pitfalls. I have changed much over the years, but it is definitely still an issue for me. Yet what has changed is learning to ingest foods that are a little fitter for me. For instance, every morning with my breakfast, I begin the day with a specific “shake” of pureed veggies and spices that are particularly healthy. It is a very powerful concoction and sometimes really hard to get down. Healthy as it is, it tastes horrible. But it feeds the needed nutrients to my body and increases my energy level.
What we understand about the physical part of our lives is often very much the same in our spiritual lives. It seems odd, however, that we can propose to the world that eating doughnuts and pizza all the time is bad for us yet take into our spirits the most disgusting food imaginable. Crazy but true.
One of the greatest lacks in our lives will be the once-a-week feeding. We go to church on Sunday. Maybe even two times. We also show up on Wednesday or Thursday. Even possibly a short meet and greet in between. And that’s the only time we feed our hearts. The only time our spirits get to masticate anything! This would starve our bodies.
So we try to please it with reading the Bible once in a while. Pray over the dinner. See something good and say, “Praise the Lord.” But most of the time, we just live life.
The Spirit Is Hungry
What are we doing with the rest of our time? Surprise! Your soul is hungry and will consume whatever it can. You. Are. Spiritual! You are spiritual by your very nature. So your heart seeks spiritual things. All that goes into you affects who you are, so your spiritual intake needs to be “heart healthy,” too!
Your body, as important as it is, will die and wither away. You soul will not. In time, it will meet its permanent place for eternity. You are currently deciding that location. Doesn’t it make sense to feed your soul as well as the body? Doesn’t it make sense to be concerned about what that soul eats?
I do not wish to perpetrate evil upon anyone that is not inducing it to begin with. But the things we subject our hearts to can be genuinely bad for it. The more you take in visually and audibly, the more it affects your soul.
For instance, if you utilize certain types of entertainment, that intake will affect the way your heart works. If the show you watch often has some pretty bad language in it, then it is likely, in time, you will begin to believe that way of talking is no big deal. Then it will become how you talk. Then those around you will begin to think that you are no different than they are. Your witness is in danger and the dominoes continue to fall.
Kinda Been There…
I do not hide the fact that I have spent much of my life addicted to pornography. It has been a devastating monster to my family and me. Here’s just some of what happens when porn is an ongoing part of your life:
- Eventually, you begin to be more accepting of infinitely wrong forms of sexual unions
- You begin to see women improperly – as objects, etc
- The spirit inside fights to remain pure but will eventually become tainted
- It becomes a way of life
- You develop secrets – ones that God will expose
- You will lose everything!
You might respond by saying that isn’t what you do. “It doesn’t compare to a little foul language.” You’re right, it doesn’t. But Hitler did not start by killing millions of Jewish people. I was not addicted to porn the first time I saw a picture of a woman without clothes on.
This Is No Simple Disagreement
The struggle for a heart-healthy soul is just that: A struggle! The fight is on, and you are in it whether you want to be or not. And to have the positive results we need requires a strong input. Essentially, we have to choose more healthy things in our spiritual lives than less. The Bible puts it this way:
“The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness!” (Matt. 6:22-23, NKJV)
Be Careful Little Eyes What You See
The saying “Garbage in, garbage out” (GIGO) has been around for nearly 70 years. Originally, it was a reference to computer code. If the code is bad, the results will be bad. If you take the garbage from your kitchen and put it in the trash can then dump the trash can, it’s quite possible that garbage will come from it. If we fill our minds and hearts with sin-filled “things,” it’s quite possible that sin-filled things are what will come from it.
We are here in this world to challenge it with the gospel. We are here, but we are not part of it. I don’t mean to say we cannot be a part of it. We best spread the gospel through relationship. But it is imperative to have God’s guidance upon us as we navigate the waters of such. Do not be pulled into things that will taint and twist who you are in Christ. Keep your “heart healthy” input more regular than otherwise. Holiness is not passe and old fashion.
I’ll leave you with this: King David, who became captive to something that led to adultery and murder, knew how bad visual stimuli could be. He offered this pledge in Psalm 101:3-4
I will set nothing wicked before my eyes;
I hate the work of those who fall away;
It shall not cling to me.
A perverse heart shall depart from me;
I will not know wickedness.
This is an updated edition of a post originally published on authormrdavenport.wixsite.com/mrdavenport
Featured Image by Pixabay