According to the World Health Organization, heart disease and stroke are the leading causes of death in the global population. In just one year 2016, they took the life of over fifteen million people. In order to create awareness about these diseases among the public, World Heart Day is observed on 29 September every year. The message of World Heart Day is that at least 80 percent of premature deaths from heart disease and stroke could be avoided if the main risk factors are controlled. These are high blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose levels, smoking, inadequate intake of fruit and vegetables, and obesity.
While keeping the heart in a good working condition may help increase our longevity, it is equally important to look after our heart in a more holistic manner. It should be healthy, but it should be pure too. Jesus said, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.” (Matthew 5:8)
The heart is the origin of all evil thoughts that lead to murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, and slander. (Matthew 15:19) The heart is the seat of lust. Jesus said, “Anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” (Matthew 5:28) He also said, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:21)
The heart is the seat of all emotions. Jesus said, “The mouth speaks what the heart is full of.” (Matthew 12:34) Our thoughts flow out from the heart through the mouth.
The heart is where we worry. That’s why Jesus has told us, “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in me.” (John 14:1)
The heart is a kind of writing pad on which we should write God’s commandments so that we are constantly reminded of what God wants us to do. (Deuteronomy 6:4-6) But Jesus has reminded us of God’s commandment which says, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” (Matthew 22:37) God does not want us to have only a healthy heart or a pure heart or a calm heart. God wants us to give him our whole heart.