understanding your heart

What Type of Person Are You Becoming?

One day when I was playing with my son in his room, I noticed these interesting soft spots, almost dimples, in his wall. I thought there might be a leak somewhere, so I called a plumber. He confirmed that there wasn’t a leak, but I had subterranean termites eating the drywall. If I filled in the dimples and painted over them without calling an exterminator, it would look fine for a while, but I would have wasted my time. The main problem was below the surface. The wall needed to be opened up and the invaders eliminated before the exterior could be rebuilt.

The same is true for us. We focus on behavior modification rather than treating the source below the surface — the heart. One of my beloved mentors passed on what I believe to be an insightful definition of the heart: “The heart is our core, the place where our will, thoughts, and feelings all converge.” What type of person are you becoming? Like Playdough is molded and shaped so are we shaped by the things that influence the heart. In order to be formed into a man of character, integrity, and strength, you need to start confronting and understanding your heart. The answers to the following two questions will reveal the type of person you are becoming.

What do you love the most?

Whatever you love the most is forming who you are. Those things and images will fill your mind. It will dictate how you spend your time and energy. Take a hard look at what you are producing around you, the character qualities you are modeling, and you will get a picture of what you love most. Who or what are you letting captivate you? Choose and invest wisely. You have given those things or people a powerful influence over who you are becoming.

What do you listen to?

Internal

The loud voice that comes from within is the one of self-interest. We want to do for ourselves, make our way, have others serve our interests, and receive attention. How much we allow this voice to rule the day will determine what we live out. Are we all about us or do we put others first? Fight this voice. The less we serve it, the quieter it gets. Silence it by serving others.

External

The outside voices come from experiences, culture, and relationships. They can fill us with fear and feelings of inadequacy when we believe the wrong things. We need to work on getting rid of the negative and untrue messages and replace them with the truth.

Experiences They can be damaging and create deep hurt or positive and bolster our self-image. It might be being bullied, receiving social affirmation, athletic achievements, or failing in business. Our experiences start early and send us messages about ourselves, who we are and our self-worth. Differentiate the truth from the lies.

Culture – Music, movies, television, media, business, and art spark ideas about ourselves. What do you consistently take in? The images and ideas that capture your imagination play an important role in who you are from the inside out.

Relationships Our wives, friends, parents, and peers. You may have never been affirmed by your father or are caught up in comparing yourself to peers. What messages have you been receiving from people in your life? Is it healthy? Again, discern fact from fiction. If it is fiction, don’t give it access to your core.

What do you love and listen to the most? Make sure they are the right things. Eventually, what is most true about us will come to the surface for all to see.

Sound Off

What has influenced your heart the most?

BJ Foster

BJ Foster is the Director of Content Creation for All Pro Dad and a married father of two.

  • CJ

    I have — and probably always will be — my own worst enemy. My self-talk, no matter how hard I try to change it by reading Scripture, listening to Christian music, reading Christian self-help books for men/husbands/fathers, subscribing to Christian devotions and men’s emails (like All Pro Dad), just never seems to cut it. Have even been to individual and marital Christian counseling and involved in men’s groups and Bible studies. Have to put daily messages calendar on my phone to try and encourage myself and focus on being thankful.

    Probably just always boils down to my lack of being able to provide for my family and my dismal downward spiral of a career that I worked so hard for two-plus decades to try and do well in, to earn college degrees for, to try and find my calling and passion only to be unemployed three times in the past 5-plus years and not be the man I want to be for myself, my wife and my kids.

    As I recently had my birthday and am working a menial labor job not even related to my career field just to put food on the table. Trying my best to focus on Joseph and the dream he had that was derailed for years by being sold into slavery by his brothers and then in an Egyptian prison for years to bring encouragement, but I am no spiritual Biblical character and live very discouraged as every job I interview for I wind up as the runner-up.

    As I am on the downside of my 40s, the type of person I am becoming is that who is becoming more doubtful of God’s goodness. More skeptical of God having my best interests at heart and being on my side. This is nothing I had wanted when I was younger in my faith. It is hard to even give a positive testimony of my faith, which used to not be the case years ago.

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Huddle up with your kids tonight and ask, “What do you love the most?”

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