"Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life." Proverbs 4:23 ESV
Okay, I admit it whenever I think of characters with rotten hearts, my thoughts go immediately to Dr. Seuss's Grinch. You probably all remember the movie, but my favorite thing is the song. Here are some selected lyrics stating the status of the Grinch's heart and soul:
You're a bad banana
With a greasy black peel
You're a monster, Mr. Grinch
Your heart's an empty hole
Your brain is full of spiders
You've got garlic in your soul
You're a foul one, Mr. Grinch
You're a nasty, wasty skunk
Your heart is full of unwashed socks
Your soul is full of gunk
The three words that best describe you
Are as follows and I quote, "Stink, stank, stunk"…
The happy conclusion of the story is that when Mr. Grinch recognized the error of his ways, he had his heart grow three sizes that day. Medically an enlarged heart is not a good thing, but we will stick with the moral, not the science.
In Proverbs 4, we are told that we are to protect our hearts with vigilance. It is easy to let the non-essential things of life get in the way of Christ's relationship. Instead of filling our hearts and souls with the purity of the Holy Spirit, like the Grinch, we let our hearts become empty, or filled with garlic, unwashed socks, and gunk! Why is it important what we allow into our hearts? First of all, there is a peace that comes in Christ from living righteously. Also, our actions reflect the contents of our hearts. The way we interact with others, the reflection of Christ that people see comes from within us.
God, thank you for the Holy Spirit. We admit that we are tempted by the things that are not good for our souls' health. Please help us turn away from those temptations. Create in us a pure heart. We ask for the Holy Spirit to fill us today, to sweep away all those things that hinder us from a righteous relationship with you. Let the goodness of your Holy Spirit direct our interactions with everyone we come in contact with today. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.