I’ve been trying to find a biblical quote to put on the wall of my bedroom. In researching passages (focusing on the heart) I decided to share a few here with some reflections. (This idea is inspired, in part, by my friend’s “Scription” at DonnaMaria.org.)
From Matthew 6:21
For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be.
What do you treasure?
Would do you hold most dear?
For me, my treasure is my family. According to this Scripture quote, therefore, I think that means that my heart, the core of who I am, is with my family. My identity and my very being is intertwined with loving them and being loved by them in our interactions, our relationships. If what I treasured was wealth or fame, then I would be caught up in money, possessions, and other people’s opinions, linking up my identity with them. And I can see how that wouldn’t be good. Either way, however… I see that I would be treasuring finite things.
For, of course, earthly relationships that I have with my fellow human beings here on earth are also finite. When these finite relationships come to an end (as prestige and material things also will end) then, so, too, would my heart. Or, we might say, my heart would be empty, collapsing into a void. Everything that is my identity, everything that I live for, would be fleeting. Unless… unless it is the love that I receive and give to my family that is my treasure – the love itself, which is from God and of God… and therefore, eternal.
Then, my heart would be in the Heart of God.
From 1 John 4:16, 19
God is love…
We love because he first loved us.
We tend to use the word “love” in many different ways. Sometimes, we only mean an intense liking. But, true love is different (and I don’t mean the romantic Disney movie version.) The love that we give to others and receive from others is only true love, or real love, when it is God’s love. For God is real love itself.
God first loved us – God loved us into existence. Our very ability to love is from God – it is given to us by God because God loves us.
Love from God, then, is true love, the full reality of love – it is completely authentic.
Only when we are able and willing to receive love from God are we able, and more than willing, to give real love to others. For, how can we give what we do not have?
Christ tells us that we must love our neighbor as ourselves. But, if we do not receive God’s love for us, then how can we even love ourselves authentically and others without self-centered intentions?
Self-love is only real love if we love ourselves the way that God loves us. In order to divinely love, we must see ourselves and every human being as His beloved Creatures, for whom He lovingly brought the Earth into being… for whom He gave Himself completely in Christ. We cannot even truly receive authentic love from another human being unless we are first able and willing to receive love from God.
Because God is love. And all of our human loves are reflections of that primary Divine Love.
In this way, I will strive to love my family in God (Who is, we could say, the very act of loving) and with God (Who loves them infinitely more than I do) and for God (Who made them in order that they may be loved).
From Proverbs 3:5
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;
There is nothing to fear from the LORD – for the Lord our God loved us into being, loves us beyond measure, is infinitely good and merciful, and wants only the fulfillment of our true happiness. Sometimes, we may doubt this when we see the terrible things that happen in this world… or when we experience something deeply sorrowful ourselves. We try to understand how God can be good and loving when there is so much suffering in the world. And, sometimes, we just don’t get it. We just don’t see it. We may even doubt that this so-called loving God even exists.
But, we forget that we are deaf and blind. Through Christ, through receiving the powerful gift of God’s love, we can be cured – those whose ears have been opened will hear and those whose eyes have been opened will see. Our true happiness is in letting God love us and in loving God. We are called to trust in this and to love God with all of our hearts, minds, and strength.
God is the Creator – we are God’s creatures. He knows us better than we know ourselves. God knows where the paths to our eternal and blissful fulfillment are and wants to lead us there – but we need to let Him. Therefore, we must not rely solely upon our limited understanding of what God has created, but turn to God always for counsel and guidance – and then trust in God’s love, in God’s ways, to lead us to everlasting joy.
For, now we may see as through a glass darkly. But, God sees all. We are like carefully and lovingly placed brushstrokes on a canvas, each unique. We are too close to the picture to see the whole of it, we may be confused by what surrounds us. Without trust, we cannot know that we are but one part, a beautifully necessary part, of a total Masterpiece.
I (like you) am a master work in progress – if I let the Master work.
But… how do we do that?
From Romans 12:2
Do not conform yourselves to this age but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and pleasing and perfect.
Let’s explore that more next week… (Your comments, thoughts, and suggestions would be very helpful in this!)
© 2017 Christina Chase
 1 Corinthians 13:12
Photo 2 by Aaron Burden ”
Photo 3 by Melissa Askew “
Although crippled by disease, I'm fully alive in love. I write about the terrible beauty and sacred wonder of life, while living with physical disability and severe dependency. A revert to the Catholic faith through atheism, I'm not afraid to ask life's big questions. I explore what it means to be fully human through my weekly blog and have written a book: It's Good to Be Here, published by Sophia Institute Press.