I love Winnie the Pooh. He is kind, sweet, caring, thoughtful, and oh so wise. Watching him as a child, you sometimes miss the wisdom that can be gathered by one little yellow bear. There are many life lessons you can learn and many beautiful quotes, but one of my favorites is “Sometimes the smallest things take up the most room in your heart.”
Oh, Pooh, how true! What you choose to think about and where you choose to spend your time will become a part of you. When speaking to the Pharisees in Matthew 15:18, Jesus explains that “But the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart.” The small things that occupy your mind (your heart) will start to take up room. They will unpack their suitcases and kick off their shoes. Are you allowing the wrong things to take up residence in your heart?
You are the landlord of your heart. You decide who and what gets to live there. You can let good things unpack or you can let bad things. The Bible tells us who we should give space to in our hearts. We are to focus on good and holy things. Philippians 4:8 says “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”
Most of us are very familiar with this verse. We understand what we are supposed to think and what we are to let live in our hearts. So why do we continually think the worst of ourselves? I know that I am guilty of this as I suspect some of you are as well. Nowhere are we instructed to think about how much we fall short compared to this world’s standards. I am constantly judging myself, comparing myself, to what the world values. Not only is that a dangerous pattern to fall into, but it is also so damaging to yourself.
You can love yourself and not be prideful. God commands us to love others as we love ourselves. How can you love others like yourself if you are constantly entertaining negative, damaging thoughts in your heart. The simple answer is that you can’t. You simply can’t love others properly if you are living with negative thoughts in your heart.
Learning to evict negativity from your heart is a process. I am happy to report that I have given the boot to many negative thoughts about myself but still have trouble with others. Shaping your thoughts, shaping your heart to look like the heart of Jesus is a building process, and one that is ever evolving.
Could you imagine that watching your Saturday morning cartoons as a child would have held such wisdom? Winnie the Pooh had it right, “Sometimes the smallest things take up the most room in your heart.” What small things are you allowing to live in your heart? Are they good things? Things that are holy, things that are pure, things that are just. Are, or they things of judgement? Things that are full of negativity, things of comparison, things of sadness. You control what goes into and lives in your heart. Be a good landlord of your heart. Only let the good tenants unpack.
This week’s recipe is a one-dish wonder. It is healthy and delicious. We make it with ground chicken, but feel free to use ground beef, turkey, or sausage. Or if you like, leave it vegetarian. It is the perfect supper on a cool fall evening and pairs perfectly with a green salad and a warm loaf of bread. I hope you enjoy it as much as my family does.
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 19-