My mother was in the hospital, and a doctor called to let me know that there was something wrong with her heart. The news was a surprise to me, one of great concern.
A cardiologist ran a battery of tests and ultimately discovered there was nothing seriously wrong, but said it was good we had come as a precaution because if anything had been wrong, we would have caught it early and avoided a heart attack.
When someone has heart trouble, most often we see a cardiologist first. I have also known people whose heart trouble was outside the scope of a cardiologist—it would in fact be a waste of time and money to make an appointment. Jesus, on the other hand, was masterful at helping people detect and avoid heart trouble.
He told a parable in Luke 18 about two men who went up to pray. One of them prayed out loud and thanked God that he was not like other men. He was not an adulterer or unjust. He reminded the Lord that he paid his tithes and fasted several times a week and that in his own eyes, he was great and had need of nothing.
The second man prayed by just lifting his eyes to heaven and asking God to have mercy on him. What a stark difference between the two men. Their hearts were revealed. One was full of pride and the other was filled with humility.
It is easy to see these two men’s hearts. I can see mine as well. Maybe you can too. Sometimes, without realizing it, our hearts look to our accomplishments and think that they make us better than someone else. When we see our own heart trouble, it is wonderful to know that prayer and repentance can put us on the road to recovery. I can remember the words of my mother, “Jesus is a heart fixer and a mind regulator.” Thank God for that.