the heart problem

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

As I am making my way (slowly) through my goal setting process for 2013 I am reminded that I’m not trying to “fix” my behaviors.  I can’t fix them.  That shouldn’t be my priority.  This is a new concept for me.  Usually when the New Year rolls around I find myself making a list of habits or behaviors that I hate.  Things I wish I didn’t do.  So I “resolve” and promise to “try” and not do them anymore.  Guess what?  I fail.  I always fail. 
Sitting in church yesterday as my pastor was introducing the My One Word process to our congregation, he said something that hit me.  Hit me hard.  He said, “Your actions are not the problem.  Your heart is the problem.”  Wow.  That concept was revolutionary for me really.  I had never thought of it that way, but isn’t it so true?  How often do we try and “change” only to fail because we are neglecting the root of the problem?  Our heart! 
We do these actions because of a condition in our heart.  We snap at our husbands or children because our heart has not learned true patience.  We throw our hands up in the air at the person who cut us off on the highway because our heart believes they are inconsiderate.  We consistently make the same bad choices at dinner time because our heart believes in convenience over long-term health.  We don’t talk to a loved one because our heart does not want to deal with the hurt and resentment it feels.  And we point our finger at others because our heart believes it is truly not our fault. 

sevilla - reflecting on the new year
Friends, all of your annoying habits or shameful actions are stemming from a place in your heart.  Am I saying you are a bad person?  No.  I believe in the good in people.  But I also believe that when we try to change a habit or an action we generally fail because we aren’t getting to the root of the matter. 
The My One Word Challenge I mentioned above is something my church has done for the past seven years.  This will be my 2nd year participating and if 2012 is any indication of its power – 2013 will change my heart.  The challenge encourages you to pick one word – just one word to focus on for the year.  And really focus on it and pray for change.  Change in your heart.  For that is where your actions flow from anyway, right?  There is no magic in the word you choose, but as Mike Ashcraft put it, “it’s a lens to provide focus.”  Focus.  That’s what it’s all about.  Being present and making change happen.
So don’t stress yourself out with a list of actions you have to change!  Instead, pick a heart change you want to see.  Simplify your life and simplify your resolutions.

Also – want to read more about My One Word?


Christina said...

You are so right, thank you for reminding me of this! :) xo C

Celeste said...

I love this and it is so true! It's got to be a heart thang!

Unknown said...

This was really nice. I actually just tweaked it some for a Facebook status, lol. Thanks for the positive words and I'm glad I found your blog :-)

ashley danielle

Jessica said...

Yes, Denise. Couldn't agree more. Actions come from the heart.

Mallory at Beautiful Things said...

Thank you for this heart check, Nise. And literally started laughing at Sevilla. She is so deep.

Kathleen said...

You are so right! New follower!

Anonymous said...

beautiful! such a great challenge! i think my heart has been trying to learn patience basically for my whole life. it always seems to be the "lesson" in my trials, but... my heart is so stubborn!

Sara said...

This was absolutely inspiring to read. It's actually kind of scary how much truth is behind your pastor's words. Pride oftentimes gets in the way of us really and truly acknowledging our flaws.
I'll be jumping on board with the "My One Word" thing this year!

Shannon Q. said...

HI! I just found your blog from Simply Clarke. The one word concept is new to me this year but I love what it represents. My word is intention. Your so right about trying to change behaviors without changing the heart.
Glad to have found you and I'm your 100th follower :) Wishing you an awesome week!

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