Or “Management of the Heart”
Or “Managing Your Thought Life”
Or “Self-Management of the Heart”
Or “Stewardship of the Heart”
Subsidiary post: Managing the Heart Is Like Managing… (an assembly, church, city, family, group, house, household, kingdom)
- A Listening Heart (contrast with A Hardened Heart)
- Addressing Self-Condemnation
- Doubting, Hesitating, Wavering, Double-Minded…
- Grace and the Heart
- Purity of Heart
- Quietness of Heart
- Quietness of Heart, Peace of Mind
God has given us both the privilege and responsibility of managing our hearts. The human heart is like a garden. Man plants the seed, man pulls the weed, while God gives the growth and the fruit. Just as we cannot expect God to manage the garden for us, so we cannot expect Him to manage our hearts. We have been given authority over what we can think, and therefore we must take responsibility for goes on in our minds. God is not responsible for our moods – we are. We may not be able to change our moods on a dime, but we can certainly do things that, in due time and with God’s grace, will change our moods.
Some may think that the gift of the Holy Spirit to us should mean that our hearts are always blessed and that we never have to do any upkeep. This is simply not true; neither is it logical. The Holy Spirit is a guest in the house of our hearts. Like any host, we must do the cleaning and preparing so that our guest feels welcome and comfortable…and all the more so because we do not want the stay to come to an end.
This truth that we must be keepers of our hearts implies various terms and concepts that we find in the scriptures, including discipline and self-control. Consider then the following scripture verses which give us insight to help us manage our hearts.
John 14:1, 27 – Do not let your heart be either troubled or fearful. This is not something He does for us; it’s something He commands us to do for Him and for ourselves.
Romans 14:22-23 – See 1 John 3:19-20 below.
1 Corinthians 5:9-13 – See Managing the Heart Is Like Managing…(a church).
1 Corinthians 15:10 – We must do something with the grace of God that we receive.
2 Corinthians 6:1 – See 1 Corinthians 15:10 above.
2 Corinthians 10:3-6 – “…We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ…” – Notice that it is “we” who are engaging in the warfare, “we” who are doing the destroying of speculations, and “we” who are taking every thought captive. The Lord gives us the weapons, but we must use them.
Colossians 3:15 – “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts…” – As for “rule” in this verse, the NASB has a margin note which reads “Or act as arbiter,” and the Strong’s definition of the word is “to act as umpire.”
1 Timothy 3:4, 5 – See Managing the Heart Is Like Managing…(a family, a church)
2 Timothy 1:6 – See 2 Timothy 1:6 KJV and 2 Timothy 1:6 ESV as well. 2 Timothy 1:6 HCSB, too.
Hebrews 3:15 – It is such a blessing to our hearts to hear the voice of God through the Holy Spirit, but in order to hear this voice we must keep our hearts humble and open toward God – not hardened or dull toward Him. This is the interplay between us and God that I’ve written about elsewhere in this post. We have a role to play in the management of our hearts and God has a role as well. If we do our part, He will surely do His part. If we keep our hearts open, He will surely speak to them.
Hebrews 6:12 – If I have a sluggish heart, I am the one who must do something about that.
James 4:8 – When I am of two minds on an important subject, it is my responsibility to resolve the issue. If it is an issue too difficult for me (see Psalm 131:2 below) then I can set it aside. However, if it is a situation that calls for my decision, I must decide (e.g. Joshua 24:15; 1 Kings 18:21). Both Old and New Testaments frown on double-mindedness (Psalm 119:113; James 1:7-8, in addition to James 4:8).
1 John 3:19, 20 – If are hearts stand condemned, we can assure them with the word of God. (For scriptures on condemnation, see Condemnation.) That is, we use the truth of God to assure our hearts. (See Romans 14:22-23 above.) We can and should “assure our hearts before Him” whenever we find the truth to be something other than what we are thinking and feeling. That is, our hearts can deceive us (Deuteronomy 11:16; Isaiah 44:20; Jeremiah 49:16; Obadiah 1:3; Romans 16:18; James 1:26). Therefore, we should always be prepared to tell ourselves the truth whenever the world has lied to us.
Jude 1:20, 21 – “…building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit…”
1 Samuel 30:6 – “…David was greatly distressed because the people spoke of stoning him…But David strengthened himself in the LORD his God.” – David did not wait for someone else to strengthen him. Neither did he wait for God to strengthen him. Rather, David strengthened himself that he might inquire of the Lord as to what he should do (1 Samuel 30:7-8).
Psalm 90:12 – “…that we may present to You a heart of wisdom” – We must arrange our hearts according to the teaching of God that He may approve of us.
Psalm 101:8 – “Every morning I will destroy all the wicked of the land, so as to cut off from the city of the Lord all those who do iniquity.” – Read this verse in the light of 2 Corinthians 10:5 above.
Psalm 131:1, 2, 3 – “…Nor do I involve myself in great matters, Or in things too difficult for me. Surely I have composed and quieted my soul…” – We must compose and quiet our hearts; no one else can do this for us. Notice who is doing the composing and quieting: “I.” Notice also how the composing and quieting is being done: “surely.” Notice also in the preceding verse (Psalm 131:1) that it was similarly “I” who is (am) not “involving myself in great matters or things too difficult for me.”
Proverbs 4:23 – “Watch over your heart with all diligence…” – We have the responsibility to keep watch over our hearts, and diligence is the character trait necessary to do this properly. That is, we must be “watchmen” over our own hearts, and we must be “diligent” watchmen at that!
Proverbs 25:28 – See Managing the Heart Is Like Managing…(a city)
Isaiah 26:3 – The verse demonstrates the interplay between God and man in affairs of the heart. That is, if a man will keep his mind steadfastly on God (i.e., not be double-minded as condemned in James 4:8), God then can and will give peace to that man’s heart. In this we can see that a man cannot on his own make his heart peaceful, but through the grace of God he can! Consider the story of Mary and Martha. Mary was “distracted,” “worried,” and “bothered.”