In our Western world, we talk about "what's in the heart," or "let your heart guide you" and other similar phrases.
In Christian circles, we tend to steer away from those kinds of phrases, because as Jeremiah 17:9 says, "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?" The problem with our pendulum swing is that we try to crush emotions, Vulcan-style. However, God made emotions to show us where we are in our souls. This is another matter, probably addressed later in this series, but emotions are a good thing, but we shouldn't be controlled by them.
What I'm getting at is we use the language of "heart" as the seat of our emotions. However, in the text of Proverbs 14, and with a little bit of Hebrew language skills, it's slightly different in the Biblical interpretation:
"The heart knows its own bitterness, and no stranger shares its joy. The house of the wicked will be destroyed, but the tent of the upright will flourish. There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death. Even in laughter the heart may ache, and the end of joy may be grief. The backslider in heart will be filled with the fruit of his ways, and a good man will be filled with the fruit of his ways. The simple believes everything, but the prudent gives thought to his steps." v. 10-15Sometimes we say, "I feel in my heart." In our context it somewhat makes sense. But here's the rub. In Hebrew, bEl means "Heart, Mind, Will." That's our whole being. Our decision-making skills, emotional reactions, logical thinking, etc. One commentary says "When translations use the term 'heart,' it is usually wise mentally to replace it with 'mind.' In fact, the seat of the emotions for the ancient Israelites was the stomach or the kidneys, like a "gut feeling." I guess they took the term literally.
To me, this addresses how I've reacted emotionally over the last three decades, but also addresses how I react as a whole to my beliefs and how they are challenged.
Am I challenged emotionally?
Does the Word of God poke and prod at my mental capacities?
Does Jesus make sense?
We live in a world that goes by emotions, and sometimes that leads us on a ridiculous roller coaster. We have to be prudent with what we hear, learn, and experience all at once. We see/interpret things through a personalized paradigm. Because of these factors, this kind of prudence forces us to slow down. And we don't like to slow down.
So, to the two people who read this blog:
- What do you believe... about life and God?
- Why? Was it just a gut reaction, or were your conclusions based on wrestling through it?
- Do you think your beliefs are absolutely conclusive, that there's nothing left to learn?
Take the necessary steps to understand your world around you.
"Be humble. The world is bigger than your view of the world. And certainly, God is much bigger than your view of God." - Eugene Cho