Heart Condition, Part 1
I wasn’t prepared the first time I visited someone with a heart condition after bypass surgery. The heart had blockage that needed surgical correction and now the patient was recovering. All the machines, tubes and IVs on the person initially frightened me, although I knew each one had a function in restoring health.
The physical heart can be addressed through medical technology, but what about the spiritual heart condition?
Before coming to Christ, our heart condition is sinful.
It is characterized by 5 attributes:
Hurt. Our emotions have been hurt. The hurt can be from past events, from others or even from ourselves. It can be as a result from unpleasant incidents or unfortunate accidents. This internal hurt can heal, but a scar of hardness of heart is left behind. We become defensive protecting our hurt heart.
Empty. We can try to fill our lives with possessions, people, or productivity but there will remain an emptiness until we seek fulfillment in God. Jesus said, “What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?” Matthew 16:26. Without God, the heart is empty, yearning for peace.
Blaise Paschal expressed it this way: “There is a God shaped vacuum in the heart of every man which cannot be filled by any created thing, but only by God, the Creator, made known through Jesus.”
Abject, hopeless. The routine of life wears us down leaving us without hope. The world events can depress us when we see crisis after crisis on the evening news. Personal problems become overwhelming and we ask, “What’s the reason to go on?” Many people fake cheerfulness when asked “How are you?” when they are hurting. Life is long on trouble and short on hope.
This is the hopelessness of the human heart without Christ. Henry David Thoreau stated it clearly when he said, “Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them.”
Rebellious. The human heart is rebellious. God created us with free will. Adam and Eve choose disobedience. We live under the impact this today. Our free will is both a curse and a blessing. We can choose to live our lives for our selves and our own glory without the Lord. God does not demand that we choose him. When we follow our own will we are rebellious, independent of God.
Tainted. The heart is polluted by sin. Impure. Permanently stained, like black ink on a white carpet. There is a barrier separating us from God until we acknowledge it—our sin. It can be a behavior or an attitude. It is the result of rebellion. Sin happens whenever we break God’s law.
Before coming to Christ, the human H.E.A.R.T. condition is
Tainted. (click to tweet)
This does not leave us much hope.
We cannot stand before the holy God because of the sinful heart condition.
The dilemma of our heart condition is stated in Jeremiah 17:9:
“The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?”
Yet through the depth of God’s love and grace, He provided a “procedure” to improve our heart condition: salvation through Jesus Christ.