Heart Attacks

Dave Gifford

READ : 1 John 3:16-23

Having a tender conscience has been both a blessing and a curse for me. It has often kept me upright when temptation would have knocked me down. But when temptation succeeded at its task, my sensitive heart would suddenly turn on me. It told me what a failure and a traitor I was. It would never let me forget the many times I strayed from God.

I always assumed the voice of my conscience was the Holy Spirit convicting me of sin. It was only this year I really noticed today’s reading. When our hearts accuse us, we should calm them by recalling the good we do which confirms that we are approved by God. We can relax in the knowledge that God is greater than our hearts. We have a strong Defender against “heart attacks.”

That means the Holy Spirit and our conscience are not identical and perfectly coordinated. On this side of heaven our hearts, like everything else about us, are imperfect. They can become desensitized or they can become harmfully oversensitive. The depressing, accusing voice we hear when we disobey is not the Lord’s.

His is the tender voice wooing us back to himself.


Great Comforter, expose my failings to me. But encourage and manage my heart reactions with your unfailing love. Amen.