Heart disease is the number one killer of women and today is National Wear Red Day. This is a campaign by the American Heart Associations to build awareness of the risk of heart disease and to raise funds for research and education on behalf of women everywhere. Many women will wear red today. My wife did. I even encouraged a male client of mine to wear a red tie today.
Heart Disease Risk Factors
The risk factors for heart disease for men and women are pretty commonly understood – high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking, physical inactivity, obesity, diabetes, family history, sex, age, stress and excessive alcohol. In that light, the American Heart Association’s recommends these six lifestyle-related steps we all can take for a healthier heart:
- Avoid tobacco smoke
- Monitor high blood pressure
- Eat food low in cholesterol and saturated fats
- Be physically active
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Have regular medical exams
God and Your Heart
The above list is what the medical profession suggests we all do to attend to our “heart health.” I’d suggest that a seventh item belongs on this list – Trust, love and obey God. The heart of the matter, the truth is, that the greatest commandment that God, our Creator, has given us is to “love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength, and to love others as yourself. ” Mark 12:28-31
When we come to the point where we love God from the bottom of our heart, it can change us completely. When we receive his love and forgiveness for all the things we’ve done wrong – all our sins – we can experience his deep love. When we trust him completely we can know real peace. When we make a choice to believe that the Holy Bible is truth and then try deep in our hearts to follow his principles for living found in the Bible, we can experience the full life that he desires for all of us to live. This includes having a healthy spiritual heart as well as a healthy physical heart.
“Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.” Proverbs 4:23
“A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones.” Proverbs 14:30
I hope you’re wearing red today… but more importantly, I hope you’re deeply in love with God.
Questions to Consider
How much do you love God? Do you trust him? Are you following his commandments out of love for him?
Is your spiritual heart right with God and with others?
Could any unforgiveness, anger or bitterness be having a harmful effect on your physical heart?
Resources for Your Heart
Web Page – Bible Verses About the Heart and Health
Article – Manage Your Stress with God’s Help
Website – Faith-based Toolkit for Heart Health – National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute