Keep A Healthy Heart

Kahlil Carmichael MAPCC, MDIV, CPT
is the pastor of Live Well Church, in Somerset, New Jersey. He is a fitness specialist at The Fitness Doctor, a fitness and wellness consulting company; and the author of 50 Tips for a Better You. He is a contributor to Guideposts magazine. His first publication, Living Longer Living Better, is available now. Go to for more information.

February marked American Heart Month, a great time to commit to a healthy lifestyle and make small changes that can lead to a lifetime of heart health. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women. It is very important (as we all know) to take care of your physical heart, but it is equally important to be mindful of guarding the condition of your spiritual heart.

The Hebrew or biblical thought for heart is the whole man, with all attributes physical, intellectual, and psychological. It is the heart which makes a man or woman what he or she is, and governs all actions (Pr. 4:23). Character, personality, will, and mind are modern terms which all reflect
something of the meaning of “heart” in its biblical usage.

It is of utmost importance that we take care to keep our physical and spiritual heart healthy. Here is an excerpt from my 30-day devotional Living Longer Living Better Mind, Body, and Spirit (Guideposts Publications).

SPIRIT: A Pure Heart
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. (Matthew 5:8 NIV)

The story of Joseph in the Bible is the story of a person with a pure heart. He loved life and loved people. Unfortunately, Joseph was resented by his brothers for who he was and how he was loved by his father. After being thrown into a pit by his brothers, who wanted to get rid of him for good,
Joseph was taken captive. He experienced even more difficult times, including serving two terms in prison. All this trouble could have caused Joseph to shut down and close his heart to people, but throughout his trials he was able to maintain a pure heart. When we keep a pure and open heart, that’s when we really experience God’s blessings. Resentment, bitterness and, lack of forgiveness contaminate the purity of our hearts and limit our ability to give and receive love. All of us have experienced unfair treatment at one time or another. When someone takes our kindness for weakness, it hurts. It can be upsetting when a good friend or mentor turns on us because of jealousy or envy. But we must remember that we cannot become who God wants us to be by holding on to grudges. Despite many trials, Joseph was able to rise to the top. Like Joseph, we must learn to let go and forgive, because blessed are the pure in heart.

Ways to keep your heart healthy: Spirt, Soul, and Body!
• Be smoke-free. It’s one of the best things you can do to
protect your heart
• Manage your blood cholesterol
• Manage your blood pressure
• Manage diabetes
• Be physically active
• Achieve and maintain a healthy weight
• Enjoy a variety of nutritious foods
• Look after your mental health

I heard a catchy slogan: “keep a healthy heart, so that we won’t be apart.” An unhealthy heart has the ability to separate us from those we love physically and emotionally. So I encourage you, Beloved, keep a healthy heart!

Live Whole, Live Well, Live Free.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this
column is of a general nature. You should consult
your physician or health care professional before
beginning any exercise program or changing your
dietary regimen.