When God Breaks Your Heart …


When your heart breaks for something, it says you have more than momentary sympathy. You feel a conviction to do something. And it’s really about someone. If your heart doesn’t break for anyone, you may be in for a wake-up call.

I’ve been challenged with the question “What does your heart break for?”

It’s not “What breaks your heart?” Things like not buying Apple stock before it went crazy, the ding in the door of your new car, innocent people being hurt or killed, a lot of things break your heart . . . for a moment.

But when your heart breaks for something, it says you have more than momentary sympathy. You feel a conviction to do something. And it’s really about someone. God is all about people (remember “if you’ve done it unto the least of these, you’ve done it unto Me?”). Maybe the question is “Who does your heart break for?” A person, a family, a community of people, a category, like “fatherless” or “old” or “orphan” or “homeless.” Maybe a “people group” somewhere in the world?

How do you know when your heart breaks for someone?

Two clues . . .

  1. When you see or think of this person/these people, you get emotional.
  2. Your mind keeps coming back to them. They just won’t go away.

If your heart doesn’t break for anyone, you may be in for a wake-up call. You may have let selfishness grow to the point that it has pushed empathy for others out of your heart. Nobody decides, “Hey, I think I’ll become a narcissist!” You grow into it decision by decision. Spend all your time on yourself and over time, that’s all you’ll care about. You think, “Well, I’ll still have me and mine,” but you won’t. Kids grow up. Parents die. And the more selfish you become, the less joyful your marriage will be.

Blaise Pascal originated the idea of a “God-shaped” hole in every man’s heart. He said no one can be satisfied or have peace without filling that hole. And Jesus is the only thing that fits and fills it.

But filling that hole with Jesus doesn’t mean wholeness. There’s more. When He said, “I have come that they might have life…” that’s about filling the hole. That’s about avoiding “the wages of sin.” Filling the hole is salvation.

But when Jesus went on to say “ . . . and have it to the full,” I think He was talking about the abundant life we can only experience when we move beyond “me and mine” to loving and serving others. If you want more (and if you’ll let Him), He’ll punch a hole in your heart that only “doing for others” will fill. And when you do something . . . when you start to move, He’ll fill it to overflowing. Not only is the hole plugged, not only do you feel more whole and more whole-some, but your heart gets bigger.

All the other parts of you grow, too. Your joy, capacity, sense of humor, decision making/priority setting, generosity, peace, confidence and absence of worry . . . your circle . . . your whole person grows and gets healthier. Your circle makes a bigger impact in the world. You have more influence as you lead by example and draw other resources to the Kingdom and to the people your heart breaks for.

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