Assessing One’s Own Heart
The heart is not a mystery. The heart is created in a neutral state. It is by individual will power that the heart is optimized for good or degraded for evil.
Some feel condemned by their heart, as if the heart is a critical judge or that the errant hearts of tenacious sinners are separate entities from their souls. Others blame the heart for lying and misleading them in relationships, and careers, and overall decision making. These and other negative feelings about the heart are false propaganda promoted by a secular world and by sinners who refuse to take personal responsibility for their actions.
Humans are raised to use their minds. They are told to think things through. A good education develops one’s ability for critical thinking. Students are admonished to use the mind to discern the truth. Follow the scientific method to arrive at a correct conclusion. When the child chooses to repeat a harmful action, the parent may yell “Think!” When people are counseled to “follow your heart”, it’s typically for a decision where science and rationalization has little impact.
Thinking has been elevated above the heart to the detriment of humanity. Thinking is a limited tool to be used by the heart. This tool may help interpret information from the heart into practical applications. For example, one might love to buy a mansion but the mind arrives at the conclusion that it’s not a practical purchase. Or the heart calls for greater personal calmness, but it is the mind that creates the routine and methods to achieve stillness.
Before putting complete trust in the heart, calmly evaluate the environment. Take stock of things and people nearby.
“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” — Matthew 6:21
“Your treasure” is your current circumstance. A treasure doesn’t have to be pleasurable, desirable, or even materially valuable. A treasure is defined by the attention it receives. Those who are unhappy in their current lives, have chosen poor treasures. It’s highly likely that these unhappy people have justified and selected priorities by following the misleading guidance of the mind. Only the intuition developed from following the conscience leads to grand treasures. These intellectually driven individuals are mentioned in the Parable of the Sower.
When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is what was sown along the path. — Matthew 13:19
The greatest treasure one can receive is the Love of God. All else pales in comparison. Tight smiles and defensive statements are issued when intellectuals are asked if they are truly happy or loved. Too much of modern religion has become those who consider themselves to be “right” educating and condemning those whom they consider to be “wrong”. The Golden Rule to love one another will perpetually escape the grasp of anyone who has not learned to keep their heart in the driver’s seat of life.
The Pharisees, who were lovers of money, heard all these things, and they ridiculed him. And he said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is exalted among men is an abomination in the sight of God.” — Luke 16:14–15
Pray for wisdom, meditate to the point of stillness, contemplate the environment to identify the treasure chosen by countless actions and decisions. If it is not a desirable treasure, resurrect the conscience and listen to the heart’s intuition. In time, the highest treasure that is Love will surround you and permeate your life.
Please read the introduction to this series on “The Lost Heart of Christ”.
Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Be sure to buy my book. “Sin No More: A Pragmatic Approach to Loving Christ” by Ed Sharrow on Amazon.