Monday, May 5, 2014

The Importance of the Heart

I was assigned to write a short essay about the importance of the biblical definition of the "heart" within therapy, as I am training and in graduate school to become a marriage and family therapist. I enjoyed writing this short essay and thought it would be neat to share it here. It is a fascinating topic. 
Do you have an opinion about the importance of the heart in therapy or in life in general? Do you have thoughts on the scriptures shared below that reference the heart? I'd love to hear in the comments! 
Have a great day - Dove of Snow 
The biblical definition of the "heart" is important in therapy because it is held in such high esteem in the Bible.  The scriptures tell us, "Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it." (Ps. 4:23, NIV) We can also clearly see that the biblical definition of the heart clearly defines the fact that it can mislead us, "The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?"(Jer. 17:9) but also plainly tells us that the Lord looks upon the heart and judges us by the heart, "'I the Lord search the heart and examine the mind, to reward each person according to their conduct, according to what their deeds deserve." (Jer. 17:10) 
One of my professors Stew Grant in one of his lectures told his students, "'Love others as yourself' = an open heart." I would have to agree. Not only does this equal an open heart including in biblical terms, but it fulfills the second greatest commandment that Jesus gave us: namely, to love the Lord our God with all of our heart and to love our neighbor as ourself. I also agree with what Grant said, "Our faith originates in our heart."  I believe our faith begins and "ends" in our heart. Our heart contains our mind, will and emotions. It is the origin of life within us, really, and it is also the guiding factor in how we live. What we put in our heart will be what we produce, whether it be wisdom and kindness and purity or folly, malice and putrification.  As the Bible clearly states, "The heart of the righteous weighs its answers, but the mouth of the wicked gushes evil." (Prov. 15:28) Last but ot least, within the Bible it is made abundantly clear that the heart is actually referring to our soul and our spiritual man, as well. The heart is synonymous, really, with the spirit of man. "My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the Lord; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God." (Psalm 84:2)  
In conclusion, the biblical definition of the heart is important in therapy and in particular Christian therapy, because it is from whence all else springs. It is the deciding factor in the success of relationships. It is the deciding factor in major life choices. It is the deciding factor in the determination of worldviews. And above all else, it is the main "character" in the decision to know Jesus Christ personally and to enter into lasting and sacred relationship with Him. 

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