Most devious is the heart… Jeremiah 17:9 (TJSB)
The Human Heart – The Heart Of The Matter – Part 1
“Most devious is the heart; It is perverse – who can fathom it?” (Jeremiah 17:9 TJSB.)
The Psalmist said:
“Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.” (Ps 37:4 ESV.)
The writer of Proverbs said:
“Guard your heart above all else, for it is the source of life.” (Prov 4:23 HSCB.)
“For out of the heart come evil thoughts—murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander.” (Matt 15:19 NIV.)
And then he said:
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” (Matt 5:8 NIV.)
“For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified…” (Rom 10:10 NIV.)
In the entire Biblical Text, there are over seven hundred references to the heart saying all kinds of different things. Some condemn the heart, some seek to redeem it. Some make it sound like our hearts are docile and incapable of making good decisions, others seem to say that our whole life is shaped by our heart.
So which is it? Are our hearts fundamentally good or evil? Can they be trusted? Should we follow our heart? Listen to it? Pay attention?
With all the seemingly conflicting comments, commands and directives about the human heart in the scriptures, I think we can conclude that the condition of our heart is of utmost importance. It’s not that the heart IS evil or IS good but that our heart dictates the direction of our lives and impacts the path of others.
At the core of the matter is our heart itself. What's harbouring and happening in our hearts is our real truth. Good and bad, beautiful and ugly. I think it can be the case that at any one time our hearts can be both positive and negative, sick and healing, broken and put back together.
The passage I mentioned above in the book of Jeremiah goes on to say this:
“The heart is hopelessly dark and deceitful, a puzzle that no one can figure out. But I, God, search the heart and examine the mind. I get to the heart of the human. I get to the root of things. I treat them as they really are, not as they pretend to be.” (Jer 17:10 MSG).
We judge people on a surface level: Social media feeds, community demographic, personal economics, test scores, contribution, image… you get the idea. But God dives beyond the surface straight to the heart. Because he knows that if we can get our hearts “right,” our actions will follow.
It’s not that our hearts are good or evil. That’s not the question. History tells us that the human heart has the capacity for both. The more interesting, life changing question is:
How do you keep a soft heart in a hard world? And can our soft hearts mend the brokenness within and around us all?
Seriously… I want to know – email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) and TELL ME! Haha!
Lizzy (and Jesse)