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News and views from the German-language region of Europe

May 30, 2014

Keep your heart

Filed under Sabbath Thoughts

King Solomon exhorts us in the Proverbs to be mindful of our heart, i.e. our general inward attitude: "Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life" (Proverbs 4:23). We know that our heart is not the source of eternal life, so "life" in this verse pertains to living, our general quality of life. The Proverbs tell us what a positive effect a merry heart can have on our general outlook in life.

By contrast, a heart filled with negativity can be a detriment to our life. For example, Proverbs 14, verse 30 tells us: "A sound heart is life to the body, but envy is rottenness to the bones." The context of verse indicates that envy eminates from the heart and influences our bodily health.

Medical research indicates that our inner attitude can influence our general health. In his book Anger Kills Dr. Redford Williams, director of behavioral research at Duke University Medical Center in North Carolina, writes that anger is more than just an inhibitor of happiness. His research over many years leads him to conclude that there can be a causal relationship between anger and heart diseases and other serious illnesses.

Solomon wrote: "An angry man stirs up strife, and a furious man abounds in transgression" (Proverbs 29:22).

What are some of the signs of an angry heart? Impatience when there are delays, anger over the habits of relatives, friends and acquaintances, wanting to have the last word in discussions with differing opinions and displays of temper, especially over small matters.

Anger and enmity are related. And the best antidote for enmity is a heart filled with the holy spirit:

"For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God. But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you" (Romans 8:6-9)

Let's walk in the spirit and keep our heart. In so doing we will enjoy a better quality of life.

With these thoughts I wish everyone a rewarding Sabbath!

Paul Kieffer's blog with personal insights and news from the German-language region in Europe.


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