Matthew 22:37 (NIV) ” Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’”

Let’s begin this series by exploring God’s use of the word heart and how we can bring this understanding to bear on examining our core values.

Depending on the Bible translation you prefer, the word heart is used between 600-900 times. One article I came across said 1000. I think the point is not whether we can agree on the number of times but that God mentions our hearts hundreds of times in His Words to us.

He is concerned about the condition and position of our hearts.

We should be too.

I can think of no more fitting month to tackle this topic than February. It’s the month of love, right? The month of our “hearts.” The stores are filled with red hearts and candy and gifts. The reason February is such a good time to examine our core values is that our core values are indicative of what’s in our hearts.

“Our hearts.” What do you think when you hear that? Today, we are much more likely to associate heart with our emotions. But it’s so much more than that. When we do what our heart tells us to do, we are also including our minds and our wills in that meaning. We need to have a full awareness of our “hearts” so that we can hope to grow and change.

We’ll flesh this out over the next four weeks, but today, let’s finish with a vocabulary lesson.

Heart –
WEBSTER

3      a: PERSONALITY, DISPOSITION a cold heart

b: obsolete : INTELLECT

4: the emotional or moral nature as distinguished from the intellectual nature: such as

a: generous disposition : COMPASSION a leader with heart

b: LOVE, AFFECTION won her heart

c: courage or enthusiasm especially when maintained during a difficult situation never lost heart

5: one’s innermost character, feelings, or inclinations knew it in his hearta man after my own heart

DICTIONARY.COM

  • the center of the total personality, especially with reference to intuition, feeling, or emotion: In your heart you know I’m an honest man.
  • the center of emotion, especially as contrasted to the head as the center of the intellect: His head told him not to fall in love, but his heart had the final say.

BLUE LETTER BIBLE

Leb (A form of lebab) in Hebrew would have been what they used to say what we often mean when we say heart. But it was so much more than what we include.
לֵב

1. inner man, mind, will, heart, understanding

A. inner part, midst

1. midst (of things)

2. heart (of man)

3. soul, heart (of man)

4. mind, knowledge, thinking, reflection, memory

5. inclination, resolution, determination (of will)

6. conscience

7. heart (of moral character)

8. as seat of appetites

9. as seat of emotions and passions

10. as seat of courage

 

In Greek, the language of the New Testament, the word heart would have been kardia.
καρδία
1. denotes the centre of all physical and spiritual life

a. the vigor and sense of physical life

b. the centre and seat of spiritual life

1. the soul or mind, as it is the fountain and seat of the thoughts, passions, desires, appetites, affections, purposes, endeavours

2. of the understanding, the faculty and seat of the intelligence

3. of the will and character

4. of the soul so far as it is affected and stirred in a bad way or good, or of the soul as the seat of the sensibilities, affections, emotions, desires, appetites, passions

2. of the middle or central or inmost part of anything, even though inanimate

 

So, for example, when Matthew 22:37 says, “Love the LORD your God with all your heart,” it encompasses all of us. He reiterates “soul” and “mind,” but that would have already been consumed in the Greek word used for “heart.”

The condition of our heart is critical to our walk with the LORD. Make no mistake; you can’t live out for long what your heart doesn’t believe.

Next week we’ll explore what our core values might be and how to align them for the best possible outcomes. In the meantime, I’d like to challenge you to take some time to become aware of your core values. Dig deep. What’s in your heart?

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Connie Benoit Sirois

Connie Benoit Sirois

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We are called to love others as ourselves. Our communication gives us continual opportunities to do this. We should never miss a chance to honor others. I’d love for you to read about my mission.

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