What we put into our minds, what we consume, forms our hearts. What is internalized in our hearts comes out of our mouths and our actions. Do we fill our minds with praying and meditating on Scripture or with other things? What do we choose to nourish us? Because all of it will affect our thinking, our hearts, and naturally our words and actions. The Gospels tell us that where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. So if we want to change our hearts or words or actions, we must change what we consume and how we shape our minds.
Jesus teaches that we cannot live by bread alone, but that we also need the words of God to help us. Reading Scripture regularly can become a practical tool for fighting against the lies of our culture and the tactics of the devil. It is hard and exhausting to stay hopeful, joyful, and morally grounded in our everyday lives, but it becomes much easier when we learn to depend upon Scripture for strength! When we are having difficulties in our relationships, temptations to sin, lack of motivation, spiritual dryness, doubts about God, anxiety over the future, etc. -- in all this we must seek nourishment in the Word, who is Christ. We must seek to not only read truth but to pray it, claim it over our lives, and speak it out loud daily.
One of my favorite understandings of why this is so important is unofficially called the Psalm 1 Prosperity Principle, from Psalms 1:1-3. Read this verses a few times to yourself, and let's take a minute to break it down to discover its richness.
Blessed is the woman whose delight is in the law of the Lord. We are blessed if we delight in the Word, the Scriptures. And delighting in them points to more than just memorization or casual reading -- it means we foster a love for them, a joy in them.
And on his law she meditates day and night. We meditate on the Word day and night; in other words, without ceasing. Since reading the Bible every minute of the day is impossible, we carry it in our hearts and minds always and in all situations.
She is like a tree planted by streams of water, that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. Other equivalent imagery in the Bible for "water" often includes "life" and "the Holy Spirit." Therefore, we become like a tree planted by streams of water, rooted in the Holy Spirit, receiving life. We bear fruit according to our season (God's plan), and our leaves do not wither. Our fruit (or lack thereof) is a direct result of being planted (or not planted) by the running, living stream of the Holy Spirit, which is a result of carrying Scripture in our heart constantly, delighting in it.
In all that she does, she prospers. Period. No questions asked. If we believe the Word is true, then we can claim the truth of these verses in our lives and over our hearts. We prosper in all that we do . . . How beautiful!
Pope Paul VI said that Scripture enlightens our minds, strengthens our wills, and sets our hearts on fire with the love of God. Let us be women whose hearts are on fire with the love of God! Let us be lights of truth in a world filled with lies, confusion, and darkness and share that with others. Let us allow the Truth to radiate from within us, nourishing, refreshing, and strengthening us every day.