Would you like to print this sheet and keep it for your own use? You can download the PDF here.
Our previous Heart Diagnosis Worksheet helped us to diagnose the underlying “heart problems” causing our “behavior symptoms” (find the worksheet at www.pointchurch.com/heartdiagnosis). This week in our Heart Treatment Worksheet, we will be learn how to develop a treatment plan for your specific heart problems.
STEP 1: In the space below write down your top 2 heart problems: Guilt, Anger, Greed, Lust, Jealousy, & Pride.
(You can diagnose your heart problems using the Heart Diagnosis Worksheet: www.pointchurch.com/heartdiagnosis).
1. ______________________ 2. ______________________
STEP 2: Now you can begin to treat the root cause of your behaviors. The Bible provides clear treatments for all of these heart problems. Find your heart problems below and discover the Bible’s treatment!
1. Guilt — a posture of the heart that feels like I owe you.
I’m doing something wrong — or it may just be that I’m not doing what I know I should be doing. I have this sense of guilt. I’m not what I should be, so I OWE YOU. The people I feel like I owe are usually the people closest to me: my spouse, my children, etc. Hearts infected by guilt do things for others to try to feel better about themselves, or seclude themselves to protect themselves from being fully known.
GOD’S solution for GUILT is CONFESSION.
God doesn’t want guilt to drive you. He taught us to CONFESS our sins so that we can be RELEASED from the guilt that sin produces..
PSALM 32:5 “Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord.” And you forgave the guilt of my sin.”
But here’s the problem: most of us confess our sins to God without any intention of changing. We confess our sins to FEEL better, not to LIVE better — we just want to shake that guilty feeling. We thank Jesus for suffering for what we’ve done, receive forgiveness, and continue sinning. How have we allowed confession to become a tool that excuses our sin rather than puts a stop to it?
Confession is more than saying, “God, I’m guilty. Please forgive me.” It’s also saying, “God, by your grace, I’m going to change. I need forgiveness, and I need a new heart.” God calls us to confess not to relieve our conscience, but to change our lives. A great way to develop a habit of confession is to join a core group where you practice mutual confession with people you know, love, and trust. Learn more about Core Groups at www.pointchurch.com/coregroups.
2. Anger — a posture of the heart that feels like you owe me.
You’ve done something to hurt me, and now YOU OWE ME. I’m going to make you pay. The trouble is, when they can’t pay us back — and they never can — we try to make everyone else pay. Have you ever had someone lash out at you or do something really mean to you, and you thought, “What did I do to deserve that?!” For a heart infected by anger, there is an unpayable debt to collect, and you got in their way.
GOD’S solution for anger is FORGIVENESS.
When you forgive, you relieve the other person from their debt to you. Holding onto the debt they owe you costs you more than the debt itself! Let it go — cancel the debt!
When you hold onto anger, you allow bitterness to grow. Bitterness will eventually control and destroy everything beautiful in your life. Why continue to let what someone did to you in the past continue to damage your present, and derail your future?
Forgive them. You don’t forgive them because they deserve it. You forgive them to release yourself from the anger and bitterness you’re holding against them. You forgive them because God forgave you even when you were guilty and undeserving.
COLOSSIANS 3:13 “Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive AS THE LORD FORGAVE YOU.”
A way to make this practical, is to not just forgive the person in your head, but to meet with them face-to-face to extend that forgiveness. If that is unwise for your particular situation, write an email or letter expressing your forgiveness. If that would also be unwise, write your forgiveness in a letter, give it over to God, and then throw the letter away.
3. Greed — a posture of the heart that feels like I owe me.
Most people don’t consider consider themselves greedy people. In fact, many people confuse wealth with greed. However, a poor person can be even greedier than a wealthy person. Greed comes out of a heart belief that I OWE ME. I deserve that. It’s my right to have that. I need that to be happy. Greed can manifest itself in different ways. It can drive some people to spend money they don’t have on things they don’t need. However, it can also manifest itself as someone who saves carefully but gives sparingly — think of Mr. Scrooge. For a heart infected by greed, money or stuff equals life.
GOD’S solution for GREED is GENEROSITY.
All the way through the Bible we are called to generosity. A godly person is a generous person, whether we have a lot or whether we have a little, whether rich or poor.
Generosity fights back against the lie that money and stuff is our security or defines our value. Generosity breaks the grip of fear of not having enough. It teaches our hearts that money and stuff are TOOLS to be used to improve the world. Generosity points our hearts to what matters most. Jesus said, “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” MATTHEW 6:21
This is why God instructs all Christians to give back to Him a portion of the income He has blessed us with. He does not need us to be generous — rather, He knows that we need to be generous. A practical way to practice generosity is to give back to God through your local church on a repeating basis so that you develop the discipline of letting go of your stuff. You can set up regular generosity at www.pointchurch.com/give.
4. Lust — a posture of the heart that feels like I owe me.
Lust and greed are closely related — both come from the desire of a material object from a heart belief that I OWE ME. However, they also have an important difference. Greed deals with the accumulation of something whereas lust deals with the experience of something. Lust says that I need to experience a feeling to be happy. Think of all of the anonymous groups: Narcotics Anonymous, Alcoholics Anonymous, Sex Addicts Anonymous, Shopaholics Anonymous, and Overeaters Anonymous. All of these groups share a similar framework — they all originate from the heart issue of lust. In fact, lust is synonymous with “craving” and “desire”.
GOD’S solution to LUST is his PRESENCE.
The reality is, lust seeks to fill a God-given desire for joy with something that brings temporary pleasure, happiness, or escape, but ultimately leaves us feeling more empty. The answer is not to deny our need for joy, but to feast and indulge in the one thing that actually brings true joy — the one thing that leaves you feeling truly satisfied and fulfilled. What is that one thing? The presence of God.
PSALM 16:11 “You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.”
The ESV says it this way, “In your presence there is fullness of joy.”
If you find yourself caught in the trap of lusting after things that only leave you feeling empty, you need to change what you are feasting on! A great first step to learn how to consistently feast on the presence of God, is to join a Core Group. Find out more at www.pointchurch.com/coregroups.
5. Jealousy — a posture of the heart that feels like God owes me.
Jealousy and greed are also closely connected. However, while greed is focused on what I owe me, jealousy is focused on what GOD OWES ME. Jealousy operates under the assumption that God gave someone else what He should have given me. He played favorites, and I wasn’t His favorite — at least, that’s how I feel. Therefore, I am owed what someone else has, or I believe I deserve what someone else has more than they do: I want a position, a title, a talent, an honor, an object, or a person who is with someone else.
GOD’S solution to JEALOUSY is CELEBRATION.
Sixty-eight times in the Bible, God commands His people to celebrate! Celebrate the good things in your life. Celebrate every blessing and see it for what it is — a gift. Celebrate the way God has made you and the opportunities He gives you.
And don’t stop there! Celebrate the good things God is doing in the lives of OTHER PEOPLE. Celebrate with your coworker when they get the promotion — say, “I’m so happy for you!” and mean it. Compliment people on their incredible talents, beauty, or the blessings God gave them. Find joy in God’s generosity to THEM.
ROMANS 12:15 “Rejoice with those who rejoice…”
Here are a couple of ways to make celebration a regular part of your life. First, regularly write down the good things God has done for you. You will be amazed at how long that list becomes and you will begin to be thankful for the things you have, rather than focused on the things others have. Secondly, make the decision to verbally celebrate with the person you are jealous of when they experience God’s blessings. Pray for them and thank God that He gave those blessings to them.
6. Pride — a posture of the heart that feels like I know better than God.
Pride is different from the other heart conditions — it is not about being owed something, but about believing that I KNOW BETTER THAN GOD. Pride can be a difficult condition to identify, because you often don’t connect the symptoms to the condition — especially for the Christian. Many people naturally only think of boastful people as prideful people. However, the reality is, that many people who have a low view of themselves suffer from a pride condition as well. They believe their negative feelings about themselves are more true than what God says about them. They believe their fears are more true than what God says about His care for them.
GOD’S solution for PRIDE is TRUST.
Pride is often described as the original sin. Adam and Eve trusted their own understanding rather than God. They worried they were missing out on something.
If you suffer from a higher view of yourself and your ability to control yourself and your circumstances, choose to trust what God says.
ISAIAH 55:8-9 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
If you suffer from a lower view of yourself than God’s view of yourself, the answer to that form of pride is also to trust in who God says you are!
PSALM 139:13-14 “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”
If you suffer from fear or anxiety about your current or future circumstance, the antidote is to trust that God is in control. Trust that God cares for you. Trust that God is working all things for your good.
ROMANS 8:28 “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
The final result of learning to combat pride by trusting God rather than your own thoughts and feelings is incredible peace!
ISAIAH 26:3 “You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.”
One of the best ways to take trust from a theoretical treatment to a tangible treatment, is to memorize verses that correspond with the areas where you need to trust God! When you are tempted to trust yourself rather than trust God, recite these verses. Make a moment by moment decision to trust God and to claim His peace! There are multiple apps to help you memorize scripture. Go to your app store and type in “scripture memory”.