Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life. 
Proverbs 4:23 (NLT) 

Earlier this week on the blog, Adana Wilson showed us that the key to leading authentically and effectively is to lead “from the heart”. But, in order to do this we must be in tune with our hearts, aware of what we take in and allow to influence our inner lives. So, how do we do this? How do we, as Proverbs advises, “guard our hearts” and keep them healthy?

By following some of these spiritual best practices —

  1. Feast on the Word. Our hearts get hungry just like our bellies do. We hunger and thirst after righteous (Matthew 5:6). But if our hearts can hunger and thirst, what do we feed ourselves? Jesus called the Word our “daily bread” and for good reason. When we meditate on scripture and the personal words we receive from God, we nourish our hearts, keeping our inner man strong.
  2. Express your heart. From a spiritual perspective, the opposite of depression is not joy, but expression. However, when we keep everything locked up inside it’s easy for us to “get stuck” emotionally. We lose the ability to give and receive love fully from an open heart. Instead, we can express what’s inside to the Lord – even if it’s negative. If you have trouble getting started, read through the Psalms.  David’s psalms were deeply personal works that didn’t shy away from the negative aspects of his life. By entrusting the Lord with what was in his heart, He opened himself up to receive truth and freedom, just like we can.
  3. Cultivate gratitude. We’ve known all along that gratitude was essential for a healthy spiritual heart but now there’s evidence that by practicing gratitude, we can actually create positive improvements in our physical heart.* Research shows that gratitude can lower your blood pressure, improve sleep, and reduce inflammation. Along with those physical benefits, gratitude also gives us God’s perspective on our circumstances – something we definitely need as leaders!

Remember, any time or effort you invest in keeping your heart healthy affects every other area of your life in positive ways. We invite you to pick one of the tips above and incorporate it into your daily routine. Then let us know how it goes by connecting with us on social media! We’d love to hear from you!

 

* https://news.heart.org/study-gratitude-is-a-healthy-attitude/