“Out of the heart come the issues of life.” Proverbs 4:23
Heart Maps. To most of you, this may seem to be an unusual combination of words or ideas. We often hear phrases such as heart attack, heart trouble, heart break, and heartache. And, we know what these words mean. But what is a heart map? To be honest, I don’t know if I’ve ever seen these words used together before. So, I may be coining a new word combination. Let me try to explain by discussing these words separately to get an idea of what they mean in combination.
Maps. What comes to mind when you see that word? I think of all those folded, ragged documents in my filing cabinet that are long-past outdated. I have used maps many times to choose the best routes to a destination where I wanted to go. That’s really what a map is, something to guide you somewhere other than where you are now. If you know how to get there, you don’t need one.
Nowadays, there are satellites that can provide direction through GPS. We also have maps available on cell phones or computer. They all serve the same purpose as the old fashioned paper map. It’s about direction; getting us where we want to go or locating one place in relation to another.
But what are heart maps? We know maps have to do with direction, but what does that have to do with the heart? When the Bible makes a reference to the heart, it is about something much more than the physical pump that circulates the life-giving blood in our bodies. Here are some examples from Jesus’ teaching to illustrate what I mean.
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” Matthew 5:8.
“Everyone who looks at a woman to lust for her has committed adultery with her already in his heart.” Matthew 5: 28.
“Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” Matthew 6:21
Obviously, these statements refer to our heart as the decision-making, intellectual, and emotional part of each of us. It is that part of us that makes us who we are. It is the place where our values and self reside. It is our heart to which God wants exclusive claim, ” Love the Lord your God with all your heart…” Matthew 22:37.
So, a heart map is your way of looking at life, the values and convictions that direct the way you will live in your relationship with God, yourself, and others. A physical map is for a guide to a physical destination. A heart map is the reservoir of values that guides our choices about what is really important in life. Here are some questions to explore the concept of heart maps a little further.
- How do our heart maps develop?
- Are heart maps really important?
- Can a bad heart map be changed?
1.How do heart maps develop?
I have been a believer since I was a teenager, but there were several years when at least one of my heart maps was not lined up with reality. Emotionally, I had trouble trusting the scriptural teaching that God would take care of me financially. See if you can relate to my confession in some area of your spiritual journey.
My confession is about money. More specifically, it’s about my thinking, my heart map about money. While the lack of money presented some challenges and embarrassing moments in my teenage years, it was how I came to think about it that was the real issue I struggled with your many years.
One of those embarrassing times was in my senior year in high school, having to do with my graduation ring. Mrs. Bohannon, my English teacher, was in charge of collecting the $18.00 for our ring. A day or two earlier I had told Mom I needed the money and her reply was, “I’m sorry but we don’t have the money right now.” How did Mrs. Bohannon respond to my dilemma? She told me she would pay for my ring and that I could repay her when I got the money. I got my ring and repaid the kind teacher but that experience, and some similar ones set the emotional background for the way I would think about money.
My good parents didn’t have the formal education necessary for well-paying jobs. Their jobs were mostly in minimum wage situations like a garment factory or local sawmill. Both parents worked but there were many times the money ran out before the month did. It was in this environment where my heart map got messed up.
Somewhere along the way of thinking about life, I made some promises to myself about how I wanted to live. We all do this kind of thing, form maps or ways of thinking that are influenced by emotionally powerful events. For me, it was money. I never wrote it down or spoke it out loud, but I made an emotional decision that when I was grown I would not to be embarrassed for lack of money as I was when I was a kid.
That’s how my dysfunctional heart map about money was formed. What’s your story? You can read more about my journey in the chapter entitled “Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life” at http://www.cosdavis.com/product/heavens-currency-investing-in-the-things-that-matter-most/
2.Are heart maps really important?
Yes, your heart map is critically important because it is your guide to right living. Our thoughts lead to choices and those choices form our character, which in turn determines our destiny. We need to pay close attention to these wise words from proverbs 4:23, “Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life.”
In my opinion, there is nothing in life that is more important than our heart maps. There are at least 3 reasons why this is so. Click this link to discover what those 3 reasons are. https://www.cosdavis.com/3-reasons-why-your-choices-matter/
3.Can a bad heart map be changed?
I’m happy to tell you that a bad heart map can be reoriented. How do I know this ? Because it has happened to me. For me, this has been a gradual process, but it is happening as God is patiently teaching me to trust Him. I worry less and am no longer obsessive about money. God has opened my hands and my heart. I am a much more generous person than I used to be.
By the grace of God your old map can be replaced with a new one that will guide you to a better place in life. Do you have an area of your life that is not in alignment with God’s will for you? If so, please claim the life God offers you by allowing his Spirit to heal you and change you.
Here’s how God has been lovingly working in my life through many years. As as a young person I responded to the conviction of God’s Spirit, turned from my deliberate disobedience, and accepted the good news that Jesus had died and was raised from the dead for my sin. At that moment, I was saved but the work God want to do in me was just beginning. From that first commitment until now, God has been working on my heart map to heal my emotions and align my thinking and actions with His heart map. What a wonderful, loving God we serve!
After we have accepted Jesus as our Savior, the Holy Spirit lives in us to guide us and change our unhealthy heart maps into those that will honor the Lord. This is a process of change often referred to as sanctification. Here is a link where you can read more about how God tries to give us better heart maps. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sanctification