"We have spoken freely to you... and opened wide our hearts to you. We are not withholding our affection from you, but you are withholding yours from us. As a fair exchange.... Open wide your hearts also."
(2 Corinthians 6:11-13)
Having our hearts wide open to others within the walls of Christianity does not mean “letting it all hang out.” It means being totally sincere, having a generous heart, not withholding our affection, always looking out for opportunities to affirm and bless others.
It does not mean we have to affirm people always in what they feel, but it does mean empathizing with people in the difficulties they face. It means saying and doing whatever will build up others. For many of us, our natural way is to be too reticent, perhaps from a fear of being overbearing. Opening our hearts to others can only be achieved in the power of the Spirit who dispels such fears.
What impressed me about the person who introduced me to Jesus was his open heart towards me. He was willing to give me time; he was very gentle and patient. And he was visibly thrilled with Jesus. I can testify that, although he is quite a private person, his heart was wide open to me. I share about Jesus now too, the one whose heart of hearts was given for us.
O Lord, make me open-hearted. Keep me from wanting to be totally transparent, a way of looking at myself instead of to you.