"Heart" in the Bible is way more than just feelings.
Your heart drives everything you say and do.
In an earlier blog post, I wrote about the fact that God is focused on your heart. Now, let's take a look at what exactly it is.
The Hebrew word that is translated "heart" is LEB, the Greek word in the New Testament is "KARDIA." Both of these words refer not only to the physical heart, but to the center or the middle of a person. That is, the down deep real person in their hidden thoughts, feelings, and intentions.
It's the invisible genuine part of you that drives every single outward thing that you do and every single word that you say. How do I know that? Look at this verse:
A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of." (Luke 6:45)
The heart is the center of your desires/emotions, your thoughts/beliefs, and your will/intents.
Sometimes references to the heart are focused on desire or what you want.
Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart." (Psalm 37:4)
When God looks at your heart, He sees what what you genuinely desire in your hidden self.
What about emotions? You may disagree and that's fine - this is just the way I have worked it out - but I think all emotions coincide with the desires of the heart. It seems to me that all of our emotions are a result of getting or not getting what we truly desire. Joy comes when my desire is fulfilled, sadness when it isn't. Anger or disappointment results when my desire is thwarted.
This verse from 1 Chronicles mentions a second facet of the heart: Your thoughts.
"But Jesus, knowing the thoughts of their hearts, had a little child stand beside Him." (Luke 9:47)
Here you can see this second facet of the heart focused on what you think in your hidden self. Jesus looked straight through the arguing disciples and saw their thoughts.
There's one more facet of the heart, and it is the will or the intent of the heart.
"For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart." (Hebrews 4:12)
You can see how what someone actually desires and what someone actually believes can direct their will and intentions toward what they do and say.
Here's the heart diagram that I came up with, because I diagram everything. I'm visualizing the heart as the convergence of our desires, our beliefs, and our wills.
One more thing: Some people (Pricilla Shirer for one) also include the conscience as a part of the heart. That may be, I just haven't figured exactly how that fits into the scheme of things. I tend to believe that the conscience is the realization that something is out of alignment in my heart, like pain is a signal that something is not right in my body.
Here's a challenge for you: try to trace an emotion in your life back to your heart. What did you (actually) desire that you did or did not get?
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