Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Listen to your heart

**I realize that some people are going to disagree with this post. Sorry. I might have something wrong, but this is part of my understanding of the world, and in some ways it needs to be

Many books say it. Movies even more. TV shows, music, media - listen to your heart. And do we? We want to, I think. And then we run into Scripture like:

"All a man's ways seem right to him, but the Lord weighs the heart." (Pro 21:2)

"Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the LORD's purpose that prevails." (Pro 19:21)

"In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps." (Pro 16:9)

"Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life." (Pro 4:23)

And, my personal most annoying verse:
"The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?" (Jer 17:9)

Don't get me wrong; it's not the verse itself that I have a problem with. It's really the interpretation that gets me.  Because obviously the heart doesn't know what it is doing, and yet, there are also verses such as:

"Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer." (Ps 19:14)

"You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart." (Jer 29:13)

"You shall love the LORD your God will all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your might." (Deut 6:5)

Okay, cool. The heart is deceitful above all things, but we must seek God with it. And love him with all our heart. If we do that, shouldn't that mean that our hearts are not deceitful?

I propose that we have been understanding "heart" all wrong. In Hebrew, the word used is lev. It means the literal heart. As in that organ in your body that has been pumping blood to your whole body since long before you were born. The organ the heart. Or, figuratively speaking, the mind.

Whoa, what? The heart is the mind? Yep. So you are supposed to serve God with all your mind. The meditation of your mind should be pleasing to God (which goes along with Philippians 4:8, whatever is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent or praiseworthy, think on such things). You shall see the Lord and find him when you seek him with all your mind.

The reason why I have such an issue is because I think that there is such a thing as intuition. That would be what people consider to be the "heart" in today's English figurative speech. I think that there is something like that. But to equal it with the Biblical heart, I'm not so okay with.


I trust my instinct. I trust my intuition. I trust the guidance of the Holy Spirit. (I can't explain instinct and intuition, and don't feel a need to, but the Holy Spirit surely does guide me in some things I can't explain!) Why? Because it has been right before.

For instance, once I was talking with some friends. They were talking about how there had been someone in the same room as them during a worship service, and they felt very on edge while he was there. It turned out that man didn't exactly have the cleanest record when it came to women. He was very carefully watched by someone higher-up while he was in the room, but these two women had still felt edgy. Honestly, as I remembered it, I had felt edgy, very wary, and had kept him in the corner of my eye.

How did I know that? How did those two other ladies know that? And, to make matters worse, they tried to tell one of their guy friends who they thought about as a brother. And he didn't get it! He just couldn't understand why these ladies had felt so wary.

In a world where the secular society is whispering, "Listen to your heart" and the church is saying, "DON'T listen to your heart," who do you listen to?

Who should you listen to?

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