Thursday, December 03, 2009

Original post date: 2/21/06 mistakenly deleted: Matters of the Heart

Matters of the Heart

Why is it that we can know and comprehend everything about a situation and still choose, against our better judgment, to disregard that knowledge and base our decision on the desires of our hearts rather than the logic and reason of our minds? We can choose to look blindly into impossibility and see only hope. We can choose ignorance over enlightenment. Of course we can choose, we have free will, but the astonishing factor is that we do choose to hope, against all measures of impossibility. So my question is: is it foolishness? Is it possible that the heart knows more that the head?

To answer that question, I find I need to take a closer look at its variables. King Solomon was a logical and rational man, but I have always believed him to be led by his heart as well.

"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding" (Prov.9:10) "To man belong the plans of the heart, but from the Lord comes the reply of the tongue." (Prov. 16:1) "In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps." (Prov. 16:9) "A wise man's heart guides his mouth, and his lips promote instruction." (Prov. 16:23) "For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul. Discretion will protect you, and understanding will guard you." (Prov. 2:10-11) "Hope deffered makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life." (Prov. 13:12) "A man of knowledge uses words with restraint, and a man of understanding is even-tempered." (Prov. 17:27) "The purposes of a man's heart are deep waters, but a man of understanding draws them out." (Prov. 20:5)

Well, from this, it seems to me that the head and heart go hand and hand. I skimmed the entire book of Proverbs and this is what I came up with. But it still isn't clear to me. I believe in the power of emotion and its ability to cloud our judgement. I also believe in the clarity of thought that deep emotion brings. Yes, it is possible to feel irrationally about something, but when the matters of your heart are the result of thoughtful searching, then maybe it is possible to follow your heart even when it doesn't quite make sense.

But I guess I should also try to find out what "foolishness" really is. Is it the disregarding of your own safety? Well, add on "for a greater cause" and you find courage. Rahab threw caution to the wind when she hid the men of Israel in her apartment, knowing full well what the consequences would be if she failed. She had no real rational reason to do what she did. This was before the promises of God applied to both Jew and Gentile, sinner and saint. She certainly was no saint, and had nothng to hope for personally by committing treason. But she did. And it was good. Esther knew she could be killed for approaching the king, but she did it anyway because she felt God's calling to do it. So, is it foolish to hope beyond possibility? The Hebrew slaves of the Egyptians did, and God granted them freedom. The oppressed people of the world choose to hope for a day when justice will reign. We, as Christians, place our hope and faith in God and his son Jesus that he will return again for us one day. Is it logical and rational? No. Not always. That is why we call it faith. That is why we ask Jesus to dwell in our hearts and to transform our minds, because they are inextricably woven together in the fabric of our beings. So I believe that the heart and the mind go hand in hand. And that there are occasions where we see the world and know God more clearly with one over the other. I don't believe that I am wrong. I hope I don't make mistakes in following my heart. But I did find these words from Solomon to help me: "Better is open rebuke than hidden love. Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses" (Prov. 27:5-6)

And this is the kind of woman I am: "A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her lifeShe opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needyShe is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongueCharm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised." (Selections from Proverbs 31)