Wednesday, June 28, 2017

The Battle Between Our Heart & Our Mind, Proverb 28:26

Today's Proverb points out that there is a battle within us all. This battle is being waged from the moment we are aware of our surroundings. It's a battle of the heart vs the mind.
He who trusts in his own heart is a fool, But whoever walks wisely will be delivered. Proverbs 28:26
The esteemed American poet, Edward Hirsch, wrote a poem titled,"Self Portrait". It begins with the lines,
I lived between my heart and my head, 
like a married couple who can't get along
All humans should be able to relate to this dilemma, we all are in. Whether you are a Christian or not, our heads and our hearts are in a constant battle to see which one will control us. For us Christians, it's a battle that can hurt or help our walk with Christ. A battle where;

Our head says: "I think." while our heart says, "I feel."
Head says, "I've concluded"; heart says, "I wonder."
Head says, "I know"; heart says, "I'm curious."
Head says, "I'm planning"; heart says, "Who needs a plan? Let's just go."
Head says, "We ought"; heart says, "We can."
Head says, "This is very interesting"; heart says, "Wow."

This could one reason Martin Luther King said in a Sermon that all Christians suffer from a form of Schizophrenia;
There's a civil war going on. There is a schizophrenia, as the psychologists or the psychiatrists would call it, going on within all of us. And there are times that all of us know somehow that there is a Mr. Hyde and a Dr. Jekyll in us.
Consider that when it comes to faith, the head wants to think its way to God, while the the heart wants to be carried on the wings of love. The head wants it to make sense, while the heart wants love. The head wants logic to lead the way, while the heart to feel its way around.

We all want to walk in the way Christ walked, but there are times when our heart wants to use a flamethrower to eliminate those who hurt us. Yet our mind realizes we need to be calm and logical about the things people say and do to us.

The head wants to be challenged; the heart wants to be delighted. The head wants ideas; the heart wants experience. The head is looking for evidence, proof and understanding; while the heart is reveling in mystery, surprise and astonishment.

We need them both, but our challenge is to make it a creative tension. We need to do our best to balance our with our emotions so that they are working together for our benefit. We need to be wise in our walk in the world, but not so wise that we forget our heart. We also need to monitor our heart, so that we are not so emotional we become fools. 

Below is a great commentary on Proverb 28:26, by Pastor Jim Suttle from Calvary Chapel in Roswell NM. 

He who trusts in his own heart is a fool, But whoever walks wisely will be delivered. Proverbs 28:26
Don’t trust your feelings

In some ways that sounds so counterintuitive, so un-American, so un-modern…and I suppose it is. Yet, it is a vital and Biblical truth we need to understand.

If we follow feelings, we will be led astray
When marriages are built on feelings, they often end in divorce – for no one always “feels in love”. When feelings govern our choices, then fear will keep us back from walking in the steps of faith God has for us. If feelings dictate our Christian habits, if we only go to church when we feel like it, read the Bible when we feel like it or pray when we feel like it – then we will have very a inconsistent and barren spiritual life. Further, if we allow feelings to govern our choices, we will often choose sin over righteousness – because we felt like it. If you follow feelings in your life…you are a fool.
He who trusts in his own heart is a fool, Proverbs 28:26
Feelings are to be enjoyed, never followed

I want to say that again and ask you to listen and think about it clearly. This is one of those sentences that has been so helpful to me over the years - I have thought about it often, prayed about it and shared it with others. So take a moment to consider this:

”Feelings are to be enjoyed, never followed”

I believe this wholeheartedly and exhort you to consider it. Feelings are not bad things in and of themselves. God invented them and the pleasure they can bring. God wants us to enjoy them and we should. Yet, we should be very careful to enjoy them without letting them dictate our lives for us.

Feelings are fickle things

Part of the problem is so many things can effect our feelings. There are physical things that effect feelings- moods, our physical health, tiredness, or the season of life we are in.
There are spiritual issues that effect our feelings - attacks from our enemy and spiritual hills and valleys God has us walk through and even recognizing our own weakness.
There are personal things that effect our feelings - fears, memories, failures and previous successes all play a part.

Honestly, the more you know yourself and know how your only feelings work – you will really understand – feelings are fickle things! Sometimes there are there in a good way with delight and pleasure and sometimes they are there in a bad way with fear and foreboding. Yet…so many things effect them – that wise is the person who doesn’t trust in them.

God calls us to walk by faith, by truth, by wisdom
He who trusts in his own heart is a fool, But whoever walks wisely will be delivered. Proverbs 28:26
God calls us not to lean on our own understanding – but to trust Him, follow Him and His guidance (Proverb 3:5-6). Thus our lives are to be based on His truth, His Word. Our lives are to be governed by what we know is good and of God and His ways and His guidance. We are to walk by faith and not by sight (or feelings) – 2 Corinthians 5.

Or to borrow from an illustration – like a train, we are to base our lives on facts first – God’s facts, God’s truth. Then we place our faith in God’s truth and guidance. Feelings follow like a caboose. Feelings make a great caboose…but a terrible train engine.
God is calling you and I to walk, to direct our lives by wisdom – His wisdom.

I call you to walk in the steps God has for you – to walk in His ways. When feelings are good and join this walk God has for you, great, enjoy them! But when they are absent – persevere in faith and don’t live by feelings. Feelings are to be enjoyed, never followed.
I call you to walk in the steps God has for you – to walk in His ways. When feelings are bad, and fears, doubts, condemnation and discouragement are there – walk anyway and don’t give in to feelings, but overcome them. Feelings are to be enjoyed, never followed.
Today, I call you to walk in God’s ways and let feelings enjoy their proper place…for feelings are to be enjoyed, never followed
He who trusts in his own heart is a fool, But whoever walks wisely will be delivered. Proverbs 28:26
Today's commentary on comes from Pastor Jim Suttle of Calvary Chapel in Roswell, New Mexico.

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