Matthew 11:28-30 (NLT)
Luke 6:45 A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. What you say flows from what is in your heart.
28 Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.
29 Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
30 For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”
When was the last time you took self-inventory—a deep look inside of yourself to identify all that is a part of you? Do you have unresolved issues from your past? Have you developed a grudge against someone recently? Every negative life experience leaves an impression on our hearts. At times, those impressions are subtle, and other times, they are hard, deep impressions that lead to heartaches over the course of time. Those heartaches in turn cause us to say things, do things, and treat people in ways that are unpleasing to God, benefit no one, and hurt everyone involved.
Our actions and our words are direct reflections of what is taking place in our hearts as noted in the scripture above from Luke 6. If our heart is glad, we rejoice, speak life, and sow good seeds into the lives of others through acts of charity and words of encouragement. If our heart is sad or filled with anger, we speak hostile words, treat people unkindly, and say things that tear down others. It’s a sad fact of life that is further captured in the phrase “misery loves company,” but there is a simple solution to this heart ailment.
In Matthew, Jesus tells us to come to him and bring all that concerns us. Note that he doesn’t ask or suggest that we come to him, Jesus commands us to seek him. He tells us that there is rest in him. We can take our burdens to him and leave them there, but that’s not all. Jesus will not allow us to leave empty-handed. He gives us the skills to handle our burdens going forward. He says, “Let me teach you” because he has already mastered that with which we are struggling, and his way of teaching is constructive with his humility and gentle heart. Let’s briefly expand upon this thought. There are people who are placed in our lives to help us through things. I know it’s difficult when we’re going through to be open to accept help from others, but when we encounter others who have successfully made it through similar, difficult matters of the heart that we are dealing with, we have to learn to humble ourselves, accept advice, and build upon their wisdom to best address our trials and move forward with lighter burdens and healthier hearts.
Take care to address the issues of your heart that are stifling your growth in your Christian walk. Make it a point to regularly take self-inventory to keep your heart in its best spiritual shape possible. Our God loves and cares for us immensely, and He desires to have us spiritually fit beginning with our hearts, so we may be effective witnesses of His great works within us.
BY S. A. Smith