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Emotionally Healthy Spirituality: Going Back to Go Forward 


Close your eyes for a moment. I want you to imagine your heart. Not your physical heart, but your “inner heart.” I want you to imagine deep inside yourself you heart that defines who you are, your character. I want you to imagine your heart that contains your thoughts, feelings, will, desires, preferences and imagination.

Now, on your heart I want you to imagine writing. On your heart are written words, written messages about who you are, what you believe, what you value, etc. As you turn your heart over, as you examine it, there are many messages on your heart. Some of these messages are true. Some of these messages are false. Some of these messages are downright lies. Open your eyes.

God designed our hearts to have messages written on them. One of the primary means by which God has messages written on our hearts is our family. This is the way God designed us, for our character to be formed, our values, wills etc. But because of the Fall, because of sin entering the world, negative messages can be written on our hearts as well.

From the time we are born, the world starts inscribing messages and words on our hearts. From the time we are born, Satan starts trying to write lies on our hearts about who we are, what we should value, and our own value. He doesn’t try to write those messages directly. He tries to use others, to use circumstances, to write those lies on our hearts. Sometimes he uses the sin of others. Sometimes he just shifts our understanding of messages, of events or words from other people.

Jesus’ goal in our redemption includes rewriting the messages on our hearts. Scripture refers to giving us a heart of flesh vs a heart of stone, or, in another passages, about giving us a white stone with a new name on it. Remember, “name” in Scripture means character, so the white stone with a new name means a new character. To shift to our metaphor, Jesus, in bringing us new life, wants to rewrite the messages on our heart. He wants to sandblast off the lies of the devil and write new truths on our heart.

Now, let me ask you, who has had the strongest influence on you in your life? Who has written the most messages there? It is your family. For most of us, our family did its best to write positive messages on our hearts. But even our families, even if they are believers, are still tainted by sin. Even Christian families write bad messages, or incomplete messages on our hearts. Why? Because all families have been affected by sin.

Let me give you an example of how messages get written on our heart. My sister, Elizabeth, remembers when she was 5 or 6 years old being outside our house. For some reason, she doesn’t remember, my Dad had a ladder outside going up to the roof. Perhaps he was painting, or maybe cleaning out the gutters. Who knows? But somebody stopped by and my Dad started talking to them. Suddenly, my Dad started looking around for Beth. She was nowhere to be seen. Then he looked up! She had climbed up the ladder onto the roof without him noticing! She was fine. She wasn’t afraid. She was having a grand old time. But my Dad knew it wasn’t safe up there so he said, “Elizabeth, come back down.” However he said it, Beth heard the fear in his voice. Suddenly, she was afraid! They got her down without incident, but to this day Beth is terribly afraid of heights.

Now, was my Dad wrong to tell her to come down? Was my Dad wrong to be worried about his 5 year old being on the roof by herself? No, of course not! But a message got imprinted on my sister’s heart, “Heights are not safe.” She’s never overcome that message.

Categories | Sermon Video


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