September 1999
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Hostile Heart

Beware the hostile heart. That’s the warning of Dr. Redford Williams from Duke University’s Behavioral Medicine Research Center. He has been saying for years that having a hostile personality can kill us—most often by heart disease but also by injuries and accidents. Anger speeds the heart rate, raises blood pressure, and disrupts the coronary arteries.

Some indicators of a hostile heart are impatience with delays, mistrust of co-workers, annoyance with the habits of family members or friends, and a persistent need to have the last word in arguments or to get even when wronged.

In Proverbs 4, a wise father urged his son to listen closely to his words. He said, “They are life to those who find them, and health to all their flesh. Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life” (vv.22-23).

Our wise heavenly Father issues the same call to us about His life-giving words recorded for us in the Bible. The transformation of a hostile heart begins as we listen to God, meditate on His Word, and allow Him to alter our behavior and speech. It’s a prescription I need to follow today. How about you?

I want my heart to be in tune with God,
In every stage of life may it ring true;
I want my thoughts and words to honor Him,
To lift Him up in everything I do. —Hess

Let God's Word fill your mind, rule your heart, and guide your tongue.