“For if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart…” (1 John 3:20)

In the Bible the heart is often referring to our emotions. The Apostle John uses the heart in that sense in the verse above. What he is essentially writing is that if the way we feel condemns us, God is greater than the way we feel.

Before the Apostle John writes these words, he was challenging us to love in action and not merely in words. He follows the insight that God is greater than the way we feel with the prescription to keep the two great commandments of Jesus: to love God, and love our neighbor as much as we love ourselves. (Matthew 22:35-40)

We are to love when we look up, when we look around, and when we look in. John was teaching that we are to love God completely, love others unconditionally, and love ourselves correctly. 

Loving ourselves does not mean when we pass a mirror we should stop and have our devotions. Jesus taught that we should say the same thing about ourselves that God says about us: God loves us.

The prescription for depression the Apostle of Love gives devout disciples is that when our hearts condemn us, we should realize that our faith is not based on something as fickle as our feelings. Our faith should be based on the reality that we believe and apply the commandment to love.

The last thing we should do when our heart condemns us is isolate ourselves into a pity party. We should get with people and love them.

Dick Woodward, 13 June 2011

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