More often than not, if we are honest, most of our time is spent in the direction of self rather than the direction of others. And, if we are really honest, most of our days are spent pampering ourselves rather than serving others. Something is seriously out of whack.
The Heart is the Problem
The heart is mentioned over 900 times in the Bible and 77 times alone in the book of Proverbs. Often when the Bible talks about your heart, it refers to the core of who you are. It’s your thoughts, motives, emotions, personality, and the spiritual part of your makeup. Your heart is basically who you are.
One of the more well-known verses on the heart is Proverbs 4:23, “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.” It’s as if all of your life is bursting forth from your heart. If one were to explain what you do, it would all come back to the heart. It’s in the heart where you can see your bent toward triviality.
Why are you lacking contentment when you have so much? The heart. Why do you meditate or fantasize about winning the lottery? The heart. Why do you secretly hope that others crash and burn just a bit? The heart. Why do you fear others and their opinions of you? The heart. Why do you just want to be left alone to live life on your own terms? The heart. Why do you do what you do? The heart. Your life is springing forth from your heart because your heart is the core of who you are.
Contrary to popular belief, the Bible is pretty clear that the problem is inside rather than outside. The heart is messed up, even twisted and sick:
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? (Jeremiah 17:9)
Many commencement speakers encourage graduates to “follow their hearts.” Not always the best idea. When a Disney movie tells you to trust your heart, just yell out right there in the theater, “Don’t do it!” The heart naturally defaults toward triviality, leading to a variety of unwise decisions and missed opportunities.
In order to escape the trivial life, the “desperately sick” heart that we are all born with must be removed and replaced with a brand-new heart. When we confess our own sin and repent of our own wrongdoing and put our faith in Jesus, we are changed and given a new heart and a new Spirit. Ezekiel puts it in these amazing words:
And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules. (Ezekiel 36:26–27)
Before conversion, believers had hard hearts against God, but now they are new, soft, and malleable. The new heart, filled with the Holy Spirit, wants to obey and worship Jesus.
Excerpted from The Trivial Life: Escaping the Default Mode of the Human Heart by Jason S. Lancaster