In your head or in your heart?


“Is what you’re saying just in your head, or is it in your heart?”

It is a question I ask myself often.  Maybe too often.  So let’s stop and think about this for a bit.

What is the difference between your head and your heart?

Who came up with this distinction, anyway?  Who started to describe one part of our being as our head, but it had nothing to do with our brain.  And who started to describe another part of our being as our heart, but it had nothing to do with the organ that pumps the blood throughout your body?

What is the difference between your head and your heart?

I think it is this.

What is in your head is what you are thinking at the moment.  It might include mental grooves and it is likely affected by your personality.

What is in your heart is who you really are.  Ultimately this is established by who God declares you to be.  God declares that a person committed to him is righteous.  He gives this person a new heart.  He infuses this heart with his Holy Spirit.

Our brain is amazingly capable of obfuscating our real identity to others.  It was this discrepancy between what was in my head and what was in my heart that precipitated a crisis of faith for me several years ago.  I was preparing to teach the youth class when my heart began smiting me.  I was speaking empty words, not based in personal experience or really accepted as reality.  I got tired of the charade.  The next Sunday was different experience. Read more here.

So how do we keep our heart and head in sync?  First, let’s remember not to condemn our heads.  We need to think.  God gave us this ability.  But the real challenge is to not let my head (which is influenced by my personality and childhood nurture) to tell my heart nonsense.  Unbelief, discouragement, and low self-esteem all begin in our head.  Let’s be aware of these thoughts.  Identify them.  Make a choice to think the right thoughts.  If we don’t, we can eventually convert a new heart back into a twisted and unholy one.

There are many ways to train your head.  Not the least of these is to meditate on the things in the Bible.  As we read Bible stories of how God worked in the Old Testament, as we read the words of worship in the Psalms, as we follow Jesus’ steps when he walked on earth, and as we listen to the teaching of the apostles, we begin to learn about God, and we begin to think his thoughts.

Guard your associates.  Steer clear of spending too much time with those who pervert the truth and freedom of the gospel; those who would tell you that you aren’t who you know in your heart you really are.  Start living from the heart that Jesus gave you, and let your head follow the leader.

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