Psalms 139:23 – “Search me, O God, and know my heart.”
There are times when we need to look into our hearts and see what’s really there. Times we have been wounded or hurt, times when we are full of rage and anger. Times when there’s a sadness we cannot seem to shake off. In all of these times God is able to reveal to us what’s truly happening in our hearts if we are simply honest with Him.
It’s God Who made us emotional beings. How else could He have put all these emotions into us if He did not create them? Yes, we have a choice as to what to do with them, but we first need to acknowledge that they even exist. We call this honoring our hearts. We honor our hearts by allowing them the right to feel whatever they feel without judging it. It doesn’t make it right or wrong, good or bad, it just is what it is.
God Honors Our Hearts
We frequently see in the Psalms where David is pouring out his complaints and problems to the Lord, yet he’s not afraid of what the Lord might do to him as a result of doing so. He sees God as the loving Father for who He is – one who doesn’t get threatened or upset because we don’t understand something or are hurt over something petty. In fact, He even tells us to pour out our hearts before Him in Psalm 62:8. He wants to be a covering for us, a shield about us, and a high tower we can run to when we’re wounded.
Honoring the Hearts of Others
As He honors our hearts and allows us to admit our weaknesses, fears, or worries without judging us, so we, too, are to honor the hearts of others without judgment. We aren’t always aware of what other people have experienced or are presently going through, so let us keep silent and allow them to feel whatever they feel. They have a right to their emotions just as much as we do to ours.
However, as I mentioned before, we have a choice in how we handle our emotions. Our emotions – particularly anger – should not be taken out on others. Instead we should find a healthy way to deal with them through journaling, counseling, or prayer ministry. For years I stuffed all negative emotions down and tried to forget about them, but they never truly went away; they just hid and became triggers later on in my life.
Part of honoring our hearts is not allowing others’ emotions to affect us. We can choose to honor the other person and what they’re feeling, but we don’t have to let it move us. This is also honoring to them, having empathy, yet not being influenced or brought down by their emotions.
Honoring hearts is one of the basics of spiritual growth. Once we see what’s in our hearts, or in the hearts of others, we can find healing for the pain. As David wrote in Psalm 31:7 – “I will be glad and rejoice in thy mercy: for thou hast considered my trouble; thou hast known my soul in adversities.” When we’re simply honest with our emotions and go to God with them, we find His peace for our hearts in Father’s love.