What exactly are affairs of your heart? How do you manage them? Perhaps we could rearrange the words and ask – – in your heart, what is the state of affairs going on in there?
Affairs Of Your Heart
Often, an affair is equated with some kind of unfaithfulness – like cheating on your spouse. But that’s only one type of affair. What other kinds of heart affairs exist?
I’d like to suggest there are many kinds of affairs of your heart. I migrate toward the reworded focus – how healthy is “the state of affairs” going on inside you as you live. We’ll focus on three kinds of heart affairs:
- Simple Stuff– things going on in your heart all day that you are often aware of.
- More Complicated – things brewing in your heart under the surface. You may or may not be aware of them.
- Super Serious – things in your heart that keep you from intimate connection with God and from healthy relationships with others.
As you can see, affairs of your heart can be simple stuff, complicated issues, and serious developments. They can involve another person, a particular event, an experience, a dream or goal, a habit, a self-indulgence, etc. It may involve good things that become too important.
When you get in touch with these dynamics, you can wrap your hands around the affairs of your heart.
How long has it been since you sat down and considered just how much is going on inside your heart right now? If you could create a quiet moment – a pause – and prayerfully reflect, you’d see so much goes on all the time. Responsibilities, relationships, required responses. Daily details and big life issues that must be addressed. And that’s just starters. There’s even more.
You have things you wonder about. Questions you may have had for years – with no answers yet. Trying to make sense of things that have happened. Not sure how to interact with things said or done to you. Affairs of your heart take energy to process, and most of that happens while you are doing double-duty with daily responsibilities. You don’t get a vacation from managing affairs of your heart. You have to multi-task almost every hour you are awake.
Although not always, you are often aware – and sometimes working on – the simple stuff. Most of the time, you probably want to give your best to the many dynamics in your heart. Knowing you are not exempt from constant stresses – like voices crying for attention – means you are normal. The question remains – do you handle these heart affairs in healthy ways? Simple stuff can create a lot of anxiety.
These affairs brew in your heart under the surface. You may or may not be aware of them. They can be healthy or unhealthy. It’s the brewing part, the deep cauldron effect, the black hole that can suck your time and energy as you allow your thoughts to linger on these unidentified complications. It kind of – bubbles underneath in an annoying way.
Think of a kettle boiling on a back burner, letting off steam all day. Or a ceiling fan with a slight buzz that never stops. Sometimes you are aware, and sometimes you tune it out. But it’s still there. You eventually need to do something with these more complicated issues.
More complicated affairs of the heart often involve the unknowns of life, or situations you can’t quite wrap your arms around. It could be a health concern, lack of control in a job situation, or even a particular person that causes upheaval all the time. There are many brewing concerns that cause personal problems, stresses, and additional scenarios you have to manage.
How do you manage what you can’t define or control? (a serious health issue.) Are you tempted to “dump” managing certain issues? Perhaps you wonder if setting a boundary might help? (the black hole of a person that keeps things stirred up.)
This is the category of things that keeps you from having an intimate relationship with God and balanced relationships with others. If you want to have a healthy life, you need to spend time here. If you don’t, you will not only miss blessings – you may struggle with conditions overtaking you – like anger, or loneliness, or fear. You might even miss the purpose of your life. That seems tragic! Sometimes simple stuff and more complicated stuff pile into a heap and form super serious stuff. When you have to navigate it all, you feel inadequate. Weary. Worn out. Overloaded.
God loves you so much. He is very near you and wants to help you navigate affairs of your heart. His Word is filled with all kinds of action steps and helpful tools you can use. If you spend time in Scripture and ask God to guide, you’ll start to find these resources. And if you put them into practice, you will be well on the way to managing the affairs of your heart.
But that’s not all. God is an Extraordinary Strategist who knows all things. Nothing is hidden from Him. If you come near Him in your heart, by faith, He will not only come near to you. He will also share His insights, wisdom, and discernment to help you identify and manage the stuff inside you.
With God’s help, you can identify priorities and make good decisions. He will help you know how to define and develop an action plan. He will also give you courage to set boundaries. These skills are critical to being a healthy person.
What Scripture Says
I find it fascinating how Scripture looks at affairs of your heart. It’s interesting, comprehensive, and drills down to the root. Let’s look at Heb.13:4-6.
Verse 5 introduces two brand new focuses. The first is keeping your life free from the love of money. The second is being content. Then the verse jumps into a subject that feels “out of place.” Here’s what it says. “Never will I leave you. Never will I forsake you.” What? Did we miss a paragraph? Sounds like a topic change.
I believe God is drilling down into human design, saying – “I made you and love you. My original design is for us to do life together. I will always be ‘for’ you and ‘with’ you. How about you? Will you choose to be ‘for’ and ‘with’ Me? Or are the cravings of your heart (money, experiences, choices, autonomy, and pleasures) outside of Me? Do you trust Me to care for you? Look to Me for your purpose. Why not simply be the person I designed? Remember, I created the human heart. I know its affairs!”
God lovingly says what we need to hear. And God sincerely wants to help!
Continuing in this Hebrews passage, verse 6 cinches God’s love and commitment to you. It says, “The Lord is my Helper; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?” God says affairs of your heart always involve Him. Whatever is going on, He can help. Let’s talk about ways you can let God help.
Self -Reporting and Self-Accountability
Healthy individuals realize they need a pro-active approach to manage affairs of their heart. You need companionship – someone you can trust. The first person should always be the Lord. Then ask if He might provide a partnership of accountability with another strong follower of Jesus. Sometimes, God wants you to just come to Him.
Here are two tools to use in partnership with God – and if He provides another person. These tools nurture growth and personal responsibility as you manage affairs of your heart.
Self-accountability means you hold yourself to the character of Jesus. You examine your heart using God’s Word – and don’t wait for someone else to point something out. You go first! The Psalmist used this tool with God. “Point out anything You find in me that makes You sad.” (Ps. 139:24-TLB)
Self-reporting means taking responsibility for the content of your heart, opening it to the Lord. You don’t wait for someone to confront you. You confront yourself and bring what’s in your heart into the light. This self-exposure ends the power of affairs hidden in the dark. It’s the first step into managing affairs of your heart.
You need these 2 tools to manage all the affairs of your heart and be a healthy individual with an Alive and Active Life.
- Are you aware of the affairs of your heart?
- Do you work to examine your heart and manage what you find?
- Stay free from things that tempt, catch, trick, or bind you.
- Don’t love anything or anyone more than God.
- Be content.
- Choose self-accountability and self-reporting.
- Choose creativity and fresh perspective every day.
- Trust God for all your needs.
Why not let the affairs of your heart bind you closer to Jesus? “Stay always within the boundaries where God’s love can reach and bless you . . .” (Jude 21 – TLB)