This is the second part of a blog that ran on July 11, 2022. In next week’s blog, The Mind and the Heart – Part 3, I will look at the role of the mind and the heart as it relates to the issue of faith.
Recently I have been teaching on one of the central themes in the Bible: the human heart. I am not talking about a muscle in your heart that pumps blood, but the center of your personhood.
Solomon gives great insight into the heart when he says in Proverbs 27:19, “…the heart reflects the real person.” He also tells us in Proverbs 4:23, “…from the heart flows the springs of life.”
Jesus makes it clear in Mathew 12:34 that all of our words flow out of our heart and in Mathew 15:19 that all evil deeds flow out of the human heart.
Author Steve Farrar gives us this description of the heart,
“The heart is ‘the seat of reason and the will. The heart is the source or spring, of motives; the seat of passions; the center of the thought processes; the spring of the conscience.’
In other words, the heart is you. It’s your personality, your will, your emotions, your mind, and your conscience. Your heart is that unseen engine beneath the hood that takes you down the road of life. It’s that seat of your soul that is influenced by affections and wounds, tendencies and habits, the unique wiring of your personality, and your family upbringing. It is that inner sanctuary where every decision is pondered and made. And it is profoundly affected by what flows into it and is allowed to take root there.”
That last sentence is significant. The heart is “profoundly affected by what flows into it and is allowed to take root there.”
This is where the mind plays such a crucial role. In Mathew 9:4, when Jesus addresses the scribes, He asks them “Why are you thinking evil in your hearts?” Then in Luke 9:47, Jesus’s disciples were arguing with one another as to which of them was the greatest. We are then told, “Jesus, knowing what they were thinking in their heart…”
There is clearly a direct link between the mind and the heart. What flows into the mind goes directly into the heart. The words and actions that flow out of us originate in the heart.
Therefore the formation of your heart will ultimately determine who you are. It will determine how healthy you are mentally, emotionally, and spiritually as a person.
We are also instructed by God that we have two responsibilities. Both of them require us to be intentional and proactive. Going back to Proverbs 4:23, Solomon says, “Watch over your heart with all diligence.” He then tells us why. “For from it flows the springs of life.” We are told to diligently guard our hearts from all that can corrupt it. This is very difficult in the modern world we live in because there is so much garbage that goes into our minds unfiltered. And it comes at us from so many directions. When you see a person’s life morally implode, it is generally because they have not been guarding their hearts. I might add that for parents, as their children grow up, they need to recognize that they are the gatekeeper of their children’s hearts.
The second responsibility we have is given to us by Paul in Philippians 4:8,
Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on these things.
Here again you see the importance of what you let your mind dwell on because that is what will flow into your heart.
So this is a truly significant responsibility we all have, to guard our hearts, and to set our minds on that which is good, honorable, and wise. In the end, this will have such an influence in the type of people we become.