Have you ever felt like you can’t reconcile your own thoughts, emotions, and actions?
Like you are working against yourself?
The three functional aspects of the human heart can be categorized as the mind, the affections, and the will. These operate in tandem with each other and cannot be separated.
Get ready for your head to spin…..
For instance, the thoughts of our minds guide our affections which influence the choices we make in practice. Furthermore, the choices we make can influence our affections, which will continue to shape or reinforce our thinking. Our affections can trigger actions before the cognitive aspect of our minds even begin to function from a logical standpoint. This usually results in a “what was I thinking?” response to our own behavior, because emotional reactions are known to sometimes be triggered before our mind has processed any logical thoughts regarding a response, whether proper or improper.
And this is just one way we our heart can cycle!
The interrelatedness of these three “heart” components is more intricate than the human mind can fathom. If we add to this foundational complexity the element of our self-deceiving sinful state, we begin to see the legitimacy of what was revealed to the prophet Jeremiah so many years ago that “the heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17:9, NASB).
We cannot even understand exactly how the human heart works.
Fortunately, our Designer understands our intricate makeup, and He has taken compassion on us. The Psalmist said that “He knows our frame,” because God could not have created our hearts to be so complex without being the Sovereign Architect of His own design (Psalm 103:14a, NASB).
However, it is ultimately not the complexity of our hearts that is the problem; rather, it is how sin has devastated the functionality of our intricately designed hearts that creates a need for a Savior.
Praise God for sending His Son to shed His blood so we can have the heart of Christ in us. It is knowing that there is something greater operating inside of us than the power of our own fallen hearts that gives us a certain hope for the future. Scripture beautifully refers to this as “Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27b, NASB).
* If you want to study the human heart in greater depth, Elyse Fitzpatrick’s book Idols of the Heart will walk you through Scripture in a way that will thoroughly aid in understanding this complicated subject. This blog post was inspired by reading Chapter 6.