Insight: Changing Your Heart Means Giving God Access

Insights are short, biblical truths to equip you to lead from your strengths.

The Law of Differences holds that there are just two paths you can take as you observe others’ differences.

  1. You can judge another’s individual differences (you see another’s differences as weaknesses)
  2. You can value another’s individual differences (you see another’s differences as strengths that God gave them)

In every relationship, you have a choice between these two options. Your decision will dictate whether the relationship “lives” or “dies.”

You make that decision with your head, your heart, and your hands.

Here’s An Insight

While making that decision with your “head” centers around the thought life in your mind, the process is a bit different for your heart. In scripture, the “heart” refers to the center of your inner life, emotions, and will.

woman opening the door

Image: Strength For the Soul

Many of us like to believe we have control over our hearts. Yet there is a big difference between exercising self-discipline over your emotions and actually bringing about a change in your will.

In reality, only God can change your heart: “It is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure” (Philippians 2:13, ESV)

Further, no heart job is too difficult for Him. God is able to take the hardest of hearts (one that ruthlessly judges others) and transform it into to a pure, softened heart (one that enthusiastically values strengths in others): “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.” (Ezekiel 36:26, ESV)

But lest you think that God’s role in bringing about heart change gives you a pass because you can’t do the changing yourself, think again.

Changing Your Heart Means Choosing to Give Access

A contractor needs access to your home in order to remodel it. In the process, you find you must live in upheaval and inconvenience for a while.

Likewise, when you desire renewed relationships you must give God access to your heart. That means you invite Him into your innermost thoughts, emotions, and will … listen to the changes He proposes … and ask for help in carrying them out.

While you cannot change how you feel, a willing heart makes the decision to seek God for change and allows the disruption. David did much the same after he sinned with Bathsheba. He prayed, “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me” (Psalm 51:10, ESV)

How do you change your heart from one that is hardened against another’s strengths to one that values strengths in others?

Give God access to your heart. Over and over. And cooperate with Him as He does the work of change.

Now How Shall I Live?

Invite God to have access to these rooms of your heart. What changes does God want to bring about in each of them?

  • Your office: your work relationships
  • Your family room: your family
  • Your bedroom: your spouse
  • Your living room: your friends
  • Your closet: your secret thoughts or judgments


More Insights

Using Your Hands Means More Than “Just Do It”

Renewing Your Mind Means Choosing With Your Head

Do You Know Your Strengths … Or Are You Simply a Know-It-All?

Strengths Are Given In the Image of God