A Change of Heart

My husband and I have had many a conversation about whether or not people ever fundamentally change. He’s not so sure; I, on the other hand, am certain they can.

Changing “me” is difficult. It takes work. It takes time. And, it takes a heart change.

The wise, old troll’s comment to Anna’s parents in Frozen says it all, “Your lucky it wasn’t her heart. The heart’s not so easily changed…” Isn’t that the truth?

The word “heart” is mentioned over 700 times in the NIV translation of the Bible and over 800 times in the KJV. And Scripture’s not referring to the organ that pumps blood through our bodies; it’s referring to the heart, figuratively. The Greek word for heart is kardia, meaning the heart, mind, character, inner self, will, intention, center.

I’ve always been a listener and a learner. I take it all in and I take it all to heart. Maybe that’s why, throughout my life, words impacted me so profoundly. Words have power, power to better and power to belittle.

For years, I allowed the unkind, angry, and judgmental words of others belittle me and change my heart. I went from an emotional, touchy-feely girl to an angry, jealous, judgmental, woman. A soft heart became a hard heart.

At least a hard heart’s protected from harm, no pain, no disappointment, no doubt, no nothing or so you’d think! But sadly, this kind of heart aches, and it’s heavy and empty. It’s worse than the one that’s squishy.

When I first encountered Jesus, I wasn’t sure I could change. I was comfortable with my righteous anger, picking people apart, and pushing them away when they hurt me. My husband said I was like a queen sitting on a throne casting judgment on my subjects. Ouch!

Jesus wouldn’t let me be. I listened and I learned; I took it in and I took it to heart just like I’d always done. Jesus’ words were different and they were powerful. Matthew 11:28-30 spoke volumes to me:

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.

That was it, Jesus’ words got into my heart. Day by day, week by week, month by month, year by year God’s word starting changing my heart into a heart that resembles his. The worldly words became less and less meaningful.

Jesus will change our hearts if we let him. But we have to let him…

This is our life as Christ followers, to be transformed into the likeness of Jesus. Our hearts become his heart. Our words become his words. Our actions become his actions.

John tells us we have all we need to overcome the worldly things keeping us from experiencing a change of heart.

You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. ~ 1 John 4:4

I’ve come a long way, but change comes slow, and yes, it’s difficult. I still have a temper, sometimes I still pick, and I close myself off when I feel hurt. These behaviors, I admit, disappoint me and drive me crazy.

When I sense the hardening beginning to happen, I:

Do a heart check.

Ask Jesus to help me work on what needs work.

Don’t judge myself too harshly.

Focus on becoming the woman God wants me to be.

Remember just how precious the heart is.

Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. ~ Proverbs 4:23

Grace & Such strives to advance Christian growth among women. While we believe the Bible is the inspired Word of God, we also recognize human interpretations are imperfect. Grace & Such encourages our readers to open their Bibles, pray for wisdom and study for themselves what the Word says. For more about who we are, please visit the About Us page.
Terri Stone

Terri Stone

Terri started her life-changing, mysterious, and challenging journey with Jesus in 2000. She describes her life like the Beatles' song, The Long and Winding Road. Her life experiences have brought her to where she is today – the married mother of three, the grandmother to six lovelies, and serving God and serving people in the local church.

By sharing her personal faith experiences, her thoughts about following Jesus and what it's like being part of his church, she hopes to help some navigate a new journey and challenge those already on the journey as they travel the faith road together.
Terri Stone

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12 thoughts on “A Change of Heart

  1. Diane

    Thoughtful way to look at what holds us in paralysis to change…”At least a hard heart’s protected from harm, no pain, no disappointment, no doubt, no nothing or so you’d think! But sadly, this kind of heart aches, and it’s heavy and empty. It’s worse than the one that’s squishy.”
    Thanks.

    Reply

    1. Terri

      From stone to flesh, that’s quite a picture of change. Much easier said than done.

      Reply

  2. April

    Terri, thanks for sharing your heart “stuff” – Inviting God into these areas is quite powerful and your example is evidence of that… you remind me to let God touch the hard, heavy, empty parts of my heart.

    Reply

    1. Terri

      Sometimes the heart stuff is the hardest to change! So, so grateful for God’s steadfast patience as we work though the change.

      Reply

  3. Marilyn bartha

    Thanks Terri. The 5 steps that you list at the end are especially helpful for when my heart gives in to life’s pressures. “Prone to wander Lord I feel it. Prone to leave the God I love. Here’s my heart oh take and seal it, Seal it for Thy courts above.” (Come thou fount of every blessing- Robert Robertson)

    Reply

    1. Terri

      Powerful hymn…I appreciate your mention of its words.

      Reply

  4. Gretchen

    Love the reminder to do a heart check, especially where any kind of change is concerned.

    Reply

    1. Terri

      Gretchen – you’re absolutely right!

      Reply

  5. Denise

    Thank you for this heart message Terri! Often I find myself creeping back to old habits and ask God to show me what needs to change. The key, as you’ve stated, is being open to Him coming in and doing whatever needs to be done to that wicked heart of ours.

    Reply

  6. Terri

    Letting God in and having his way with us is the only thing that will bring about change. It may not feel good while the work is happening, but it’s always better in the end.

    Reply

  7. Jen

    It’s such a simple concept, really. Then why do I dig in my heels and act like a spoiled brat and not want to change my heart sometimes? *sigh* This humanness is kind of lame sometimes!

    Reply

    1. Terri

      Lame for sure, change is such hard work!

      Reply

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