Searching The Heart

By: Dawn Vitulli
Each February, the American Heart Association brings awareness to the importance of maintaining heart health. Wouldn’t it behoove us to also evaluate the state of our spiritual heart regularly? Hear what CCA’s Elementary Principal Dawn Vitulli has to say about this topic and take her four-question heart check-up assessment!

The heart – the most vital organ we all possess. It is our source of life. Without it, we could not live. Did you know this muscle forms in the third week of pregnancy? It remains our source of life until the day we die.

As God created man, He intended for our hearts to be good and to be used to love. But as we know, it was sin that entered man's heart that made it wicked. This is not what was intended, and it grieved God. Genesis 6:5 says, “Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” This is clearly not a picture of love.

We are only given one heart. Like I stated before, it is the source of our life. In the physical sense we need to take care of our heart because if we don’t it can lead to serious health problems. Sometimes the health issues are hereditary, which gives us more reason to take better care of ourselves; we want to change those patterns. Sometimes we bring it on ourselves by choosing not to eat right or exercise. Sometimes, no matter how well we take care of ourselves, it can come as a surprise when we go to the doctor to hear that our heart is not functioning properly.

How’s Your Spiritual Heart Health?

Now let’s take a look at the heart as the Lord sees it and not from the perspective of health, although you can draw some comparisons. The heart is the center and the source of our whole inner life in the way we think and feel. God is concerned, primarily, about our heart.
The heart is the center and the source of our whole inner life in the way we think and feel. God is concerned, primarily, about our heart.
“God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” –1 Samuel 16:7b

Sometimes we are brought up in families that do not show us love. Our heart never has a healthy start to begin with. We see, hear, and feel things that are brought to us by past generations. We need to break those patterns or they will continue to plague our lives.

Sometimes our heart can get broken, causing pain. This pain can start to chip away at it. I think we can all say we have experienced some sort of brokenheartedness at one point or another. For some of us, multiple times. That is just part of life. It is what you do with the pain that can affect the heart. Do you harbor the pain and stuff it in, or do you learn to grieve it and release it?
It is what you do with the pain that can affect the heart. Do you harbor the pain and stuff it in, or do you learn to grieve it and release it?
“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” –Psalm 34:18

Sometimes the heart can harden because of what it’s being fed. Matthew 15 explains that it is not what a man eats that makes him unclean but what comes out of his mouth, and those things that come from his mouth are ultimately from his heart.

These are just a few examples, but in all of these situations, the heart needs protection. As Proverbs 4:23 states, “Watch over your heart with all diligence, For from it flow the springs of life.” It is up to us to try and keep our hearts pure. We must learn to deal with our hurts and disappointments and determine to keep our hearts spiritually healthy by clinging to the word and character of God.
We must learn to deal with our hurts and disappointments and determine to keep our hearts spiritually healthy by clinging to the word and character of God.
Each year during the month of February, the American Heart Association aims to bring awareness to the importance of heart health, as heart disease is the leading cause of death for adults in the U.S. (CDC, 2022). For this reason, they recommend staying up-to-date with your annual physicals. But from a spiritual sense, it would not be wise to examine our hearts yearly. This is something we should do daily.
It would not be wise to examine our hearts yearly. This is something we should do daily.
As I stated above, God does not look at our outward appearance but instead looks at our heart. What does He see in you? Only you can answer that question.

Time for a Heart Check-Up!

In your quiet time with the Lord, ask Him to search your heart.

“Search me, O God, and know my heart, Try me and know my anxious thoughts, And see if there be any hurtful way in me, And lead me in the everlasting way.” –Psalm 139:23-24

Below are a few questions to reflect upon as you go through this process:

  1. Are you holding on to past hurts that can be making your heart hard?
  2. What are you feeding your heart – are they things that will spiritually strengthen it?
  3. Is God in the center of your heart, guiding your words and actions each day?
  4. What spiritual exercises do you need to do to keep your heart healthy?

“Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.” –Ezekiel 36:26

 
Dawn Vitulli currently serves as CCA’s Elementary Principal. She has 23 years of experience in education, and 16 of those years have been at CCA. Dawn holds a B.A. in Child Study from St. Joseph’s College and an M.Ed. in Educational Leadership from Southeastern University. She enjoys exercising, watching football, and crafting. Her daughter Samantha recently started a non-profit in Atlanta that serves youth who have been impacted by the Juvenile Justice System.

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  • Jodi LeSerra
    Thank you for the reminder, Dawn! We can so easily and quickly, without realizing it, slip into the ways of the world! It takes everyday action to protect our fragile spirits!

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