The Heart of a King - Ruler of Your Emotions
The heart of man is the pivot point of power in our lives. Scripture reveals that the heart has the power to believe (Rom.10:9), to understand (Eph.1:18), to open (2 Cor. 6:11-13), to love (1 Pet. 1:22), to condemn (1 Jn.3:20), to ponder (Luke 2:19), to forgive (Matt.18:35), to decide (2 Cor. 9:7), and to feel emotion(Acts.2:46; 2 Cor. 2:4; Eph. 6:5). There are more powers of the heart, but those listed are particularly critical to abundant life in Christ.
Topping this list is the power to decide; to decide what to do with all the other powers and continual flow of information coming to the heart. What a big job for the heart!!! Today I will focus on deciding what to do with the power to feel emotion.
New Testament scriptural references to the heart’s ability to feel emotion include feeling distressed, anguished, encouraged, refreshed, hopeful, troubled, glad, loved, grateful, boastful and many more. For every emotion listed there is an opposite emotion for the heart to experience. We are designed by God the Father to have emotions. They represent a response to internal and external stimuli of life. However, we are not designed to be ruled by all of them or to rule through all of them.
Emotions have a role in heart decisions, but no more of a role than our thoughts, our knowledge, and the role of the Holy Spirit through our born-again spirit. The untrained human heart only has ability to process emotions in the context of self, i.e. self protection, self promotion, personal vision, personal comfort, biological family, etc. The trained heart can be transformed to process emotions in a broader context.
For example, this week a staff sergeant in the US Army Rangers received the Congressional Medal of Honor for heroism, the first living recipient of this honor since the beginning of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars (the other recent recipients were all killed during their heroic act). This young man acted from a heart that was concerned with more than self. He ran into a hail of gunfire during an ambush by Taliban fighters, rescuing 2 wounded comrades being hit three times by bullets in the process. He risked everything for two men in his unit. This was not a well-thought-out, strategic action but an instantaneous response from a heart infused with the belief that the men in his unit were more important than his personal safety. What emotions must he have initially felt when ambushed in that Afghan valley….fear, anxiety, trepidation, timidity, love, anger, boldness? He may have felt some or all of those but he acted from a heart trained to decide based upon the greater good, the bigger picture, the safety of those he led at the risk of personal safety. In an instant his heart processed every emotion accepting those emotions infused as good, righteous, and worthy of a leader. He rejected fear, anxiety, timidity and trepidation and accepted love, anger, and boldness as the pivot point of power. This 25 year old man has the heart of a king, the heart of a leader transformed for the greater good, the bigger picture, and the lives of those he leads.
This young man’s heart decision is but a small example of what Christian leaders can be if we have the Heart of a King; a heart trained to process emotions for the greater good of the Kingdom of God and of those we lead. We may not receive the Congressional Medal of Honor, but we will receive the Crown of Glory. Praise God!