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Finally, to have a healthy heart, it is crucial that we purge ourselves of any unhealthy emotions. We must take Paul's advice to "get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice" (Eph. 4:31).

His words aren't simply a formula for maintaining peaceful fellowship. They are a recipe that could save our lives.

So don't hang on to deadly emotions. Let go of bitterness, be slow to anger and be quick to forgive. Your obedience will not only be pleasing to the Lord; it will also protect your heart.

As Christian women, we must remember that God calls us to subject our flesh for our protection, not as a punishment. His grace gives us everything we need to say no to our cravings, our laziness and our negative emotions (Tit. 2:11-12). Unfortunately, not many women are compelled to do this until after their first heart attack. My prayer is that you avoid such a tragedy.

The Lord demonstrated His unfailing love for us in fulfilling the promise to "give [us] a new heart and put a new spirit in [us]" (Ezek. 36:26). Let's honor Him by taking care of our whole persons—body, soul and spirit—including our hearts.

Read a companion devotional.

Kara Davis, M.D., is a doctor of internal medicine and a former assistant professor of medicine at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She is also the author of Spiritual Secrets to Weight Loss (Charisma House).

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