We all have something. There has been something pressing on your heart or mind. What is it? What are you harboring right now?
A harbor is a home for ships to be safe in. The action “to harbor” is to mentally make a home for a thought, usually a negative one, and to keep it secret, or safe. So, what are you harboring right now? What thought have you allowed to have a home in your heart? What thought is difficult to confront because it has become so real and normal to you, even if it is negative?
We are all harboring something at all times. As believers we are responsible to renew our minds and to replace whatever feels true with what we know to be actual truth. This principle can apply to so many things. For the sake of brevity, let’s break down one common example: anger.
Do you harbor anger?
Has anger become so safe and normal in your life that you have resigned yourself to living with it? Challenge yourself with these questions. (And feel free to switch out anger for anything else.) By harboring anger am I hurting myself? Am I only hurting myself?
Proverbs 17:14 “The start of a quarrel is like a leak in a dam,
so stop it before it bursts.”
Proverbs 10:12 “Hatred stirs up conflict,
but love covers over all wrongs.”
Proverbs 15:1 “A gentle response defuses anger,
but a sharp tongue kindles a temper-fire.”
Harboring anger (or cynicism or fear or insecurities or really fill-in-the-blank) will always hurt you and it will go beyond you. Whether you can see it or not, it will always break you down and have a ripple affect to others. And it starts with those closest to you.
So what can you do about it? How do you change your thought life? How do you make your home safe for you and your family?
It must begin in you.
Proverbs 4:20-22 “(My words) are life to those who find them
and health to one’s whole body.”
If you are needing some life in your spirit, in your emotions, in your thought-life, it is found in God’s Word. Dig into it. Search for what you’re needing and you will find it. Literally search. I love the search tool where you can search for any topic in the Bible that you’re needing wisdom and direction in. If you have been feeling stress (or anger or fear or worry) weigh down your body and deplete your enthusiasm Proverbs just said the solution for health in the body is to find God’s words!
Proverbs 14:30 “A peaceful heart leads to a healthy body;
jealousy is like cancer in the bones.”
This is a great measurement for me – if there is any area of my life spiritually, emotionally, or physically that is unhealthy I start searching for where I do not have peace. Where in my mind has become safe to something that isn’t God’s truth?
Once it has begun in you, it will flow out of you.
You cannot be healthy for your family (or job or ministry) if you are not taking care of yourself.
Luke 6:43-45 “You don’t get wormy apples off a healthy tree, nor good apples off a diseased tree. The health of the apple tells the health of the tree. You must begin with your own life-giving lives…Your true being brims over into true words and deeds.”
If the unhealthy parts of our heart overflow into the lives of those we care about, here is the most encouraging part about that verse to me: our health overflows as well.
It is time to stop allowing those unhealthy areas to have a home in your life. Replace those negative things and choose to harbor the truth of God’s Word. The healthier you are, the healthier your family will become. You may not be able to control your family, but you are responsible for yourself and accountable to God for your contribution.
When you are healthier, you are able to give more: affection, time, whatever is needed! Clearly, Malachi has some growing to do in the receiving of affection.
Just kidding. He really loves us.
Photography by Suzi Ibanez. For the record, she asked to capture our family’s wake up routine for a personal project and I must really love her to agree and publish photos with #NoMakeup. Literally.