November 19, 2007
A Matter of the Heart
“A happy heart makes the face cheerful...” Proverbs 15:13A (NIV)
Shelly is the most caring, considerate, and joyful person that I’ve come across in a long time. Before she ever opens her mouth to speak, her glowing, cheerful face gives evidence to a heart that is content.
As the wife of a youth pastor, Shelly is sometimes bombarded with teens that are rude, selfish, and down right mean. Yet, Shelly always maintains her poise and Christ-like character. In fact, it doesn’t matter who she is speaking with—teen or adult—if they are having a bad attitude, their perspective will soon change after a few minutes with Shelly. Her positive outlook automatically takes them to new heights. No one can be around Shelly for long before their manner is changed and they feel uplifted, encouraged, and thankful. What’s her secret? Shelly maintains the right heart attitude in every situation, and in doing so; others are drawn to Christ in her.
On the other hand, being in the presence of someone who is gloomy, impatient, unthankful, prideful, selfish or has an undue attachment to worldly objects, leaves us unsettled. Usually, this is the type of person no one wants to be around. The unpleasantness can be detected quickly in both the countenance and speech of that person – it is the outward reflection of their heart. Matthew confirms, “For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.” (Matthew 12:34, NIV). Whether the condition of the heart is good or bad, it will be seen on the face and heard through the spoken word.
So, like Shelly, how do we cultivate the right heart attitude that results in a cheerful face and pleasant speech?
We Must Cultivate a Thankful Heart
Have you ever noticed that thankful people are thoughtful people? Thankful people never forget the kindness that’s been shown to them by God or others. As a result, they become more attentive towards the needs of others. Thoughtfulness is the fruit of a thankful heart.
We Must Cultivate a Trusting Heart
People who trust God are content and it shows. They have learned to say in troubled times, “Lord, this is not what I would have chosen, but knowing that You have my best interest in mind, I will trust You.” Psalm 61:8 states, “Trust in Him at all times, O people. Pour out your heart before Him. God is a refuge for us.” Those who learn to trust God’s heart when theirs is breaking find contentment and peace in times of trouble.
We Must Cultivate a Humble Heart
Humble people are happy people because they rely on God for everything through prayer. A humble heart runs to God for daily strength. “Lord, thou hast heard the desire of the humble: thou wilt prepare their heart, thou wilt cause thine ear to hear.” (Psalm 10:17 KJV). We don’t capture the ear of God by grumbling and complaining. God is eager to listen to our cries when we humbly depend on Him through prayer. Here is an easy example for praying with a humble heart.
P—Praise Him for all things—good and bad.
R—Remember to thank God for all He has done.
A—Ask God for His provision for others.
Y—Pray for yourself.
When we approach each day with a heart that is thankful, trusting, and humble, our happy faces will testify that we are content in God alone. Soon, others will notice and be drawn to the heart of God in you.
Dear Lord, I want to be the kind of person that reflects Your heart. Help me to always be thankful and humble, trusting in You for all things so that contentment may be felt on the inside and seen on the outside, in Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Micca Campbell’s blog
On a 3 x 5 card, write down ways you can cultivate a thankful heart, a humble heart, and a trusting heart. Meditate on these until each one becomes a reality in your life.
How would others describe you? Cheerful or grouchy?
Who do you know that always has a smile on their face and contentment in their heart?
How can you cultivate these heart qualities and what would be the benefit?
Proverbs 15:30, “A cheerful look brings joy to the heart, and good news gives health to the bones.” (NIV)
Proverbs 15:15, “All the days of the oppressed are wretched, but the cheerful heart has a continual feast.”(NIV)
Ecclesiastes 11:9, “Be happy, young man, while you are young, and let your heart give you joy in the days of your youth. Follow the ways of your heart and whatever your eyes see, but know that for all these things God will bring you to judgment.” (NIV)
Proverbs 31 Ministries
Matthews, NC 28105
Originally published Monday, 19 November 2007.