All well and good, but there is another aspect of heart-health to consider….
‘The three special functions, knowing, feeling, and willing, ascribed by modern psychologists to the mind, were attributed to the heart by the Biblical writers’ (Jewish Encyclopaedia; italics mine). The heart in Scripture described the inner man, the seat of consciousness and the intelligence, the source of imagination and creativity; the seat of the self. To the Hebrew writers the heart referred to the aspects of humanness which distinguish man from the rest of the animal kingdom, and included, pre-eminently, the ability to know the Lord.
When words are mentioned for the first time in Scripture, they give special insight which informs and provides a foundation for our understanding of key themes. The first mention of heart in the Old Testament is in Genesis 6 where we read that ‘The Lord saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time.’ [Genesis 6:5]
The Fall had made the human heart very sick, and the consequences were legion. Sickness in the inner man produced every kind of evil: from violence to theft, and self-promotion to relationship breakdown, (and the rest); it also had huge physical consequences – many illnesses are today recognised as having their roots in poor emotional, mental or spiritual health; and – vitally important - the diseased human heart lost the capacity to fellowship with the God who made it.
The only remedy was drastic surgery, a new heart was required.
I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols.
I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you;
I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.
And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees
and be careful to keep my laws.
So as we know all of this, what's the point.........?
The issue is this: just as we often do not take steps to protect and nourish our body’s physical organ, with resulting health problems, we also often are not diligent about caring for the new spiritual heart we have been given. And out of that heart flows the issues of life [Proverbs 4:23].
It seems that our state of wellbeing really is a heart-issue.
NEEDING A NEW HEART?
Most readers seem to prefer to get in touch direct, using the 'Get in Touch!' buttons
- please do, I love hearing from people......
Others like the facility to publicly comment under posts, so the public comment option is also available (bottom left).
- please feel free to add your thoughts
Click to read more Blog posts or to find out more about Rhythms of Grace