What’s in Your Heart?
If you’ve ever watched a television program that portrays an autopsy, such as a medical program, or a police drama, you know the purpose of such is to try and give people clues as to what was happening in an individual’s body processes. Could it have contributed to one’s death, or was something done to a person, as in being poisoned, that effected they body in an adverse way which brought about a premature death? In many of these programs, you may see actors supposedly weighing one’s liver or heart, or another major organ. I became curious enough as to why these were weighed to do some research.
For example, if an organ weighs more, or less, than it should for the gender and weight of a person, it can indicate some abnormality that was in place before death, that might have helped contribute to death. If the heart weighs more than is normal for that person, it could indicate high blood pressure, or a heart valve problem. It might be a cause for more precise exams (studying disease in cells and tissues of an organ) to be used. Weighing the heart, then, along with other vital organs, can have value to better understand what happened in a person’s life to bring about one’s demise.
Scripture speaks of such things, but figuratively, from a spiritual perspective, not physically. Solomon wrote, “All a person's ways seem right to him, but the LORD weighs hearts” (Prov. 21:2). The term for heart here refers to the inner person, the mind or intellect, the will, as well as the emotions. It has to do with what goes on inside someone that guides and directs how one ultimately acts. A similar passage is found in Prov. 16:2; “All a person's ways seem right to him, but the LORD weighs motives.” We don’t have perfect insight into a person’s true self, even our own self, but God does. Sin can deceive us and harden our hearts (Heb. 3:13), so what we think or feel may not be true. It’s possible for a person to be convinced all is fine spiritually when it is not! Heart disease has often been called the silent killer, due to it too often being undetected until it’s too late. It can be so spiritually, as the inner person’s true character may not be taken into account until it’s too late. Jeremiah warned of this when he wrote, “The heart is more deceitful than anything else, and incurable—who can understand it?” (Jer. 17:9). Jesus also said it is from the heart a variety of sins proceed, and this is what defiles a person (Matt. 15:19-20).
So how do we accurately assess the motives of our hearts, to determine whether what we feel, or believe, or act, is truly of God or not? God has given us His word to know His will, and to judge all things by its perfect standard for us. “For the word of God is living and effective and sharper than any double-edged sword, penetrating as far as the separation of soul and spirit, joints and marrow. It is able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart” (Heb. 4:12). When we refuse to spend time in Scripture, we receive input from the world instead, which is governed by sin. It will conform us to its pattern, instead of Scripture transforming us into the image of God, in which we were created, by which we are to live (Rom. 12:1-2). How much time do we spend in what God has given us as our only reliable guide to the heart, to determine our true motives, to correct error before it’s too late? God weighs the heart, He knows our motives, and in His word He reveals the right way for us to live. Why not spend time in it each day so it can help purify our motives and lead us in His way of life for us? If we are too busy to do so, we will find we were too busy in those things that will ultimately condemn us, not committed enough to that which offers us eternal life.
Scripture comes from God and is the only way for us to be equipped to live acceptably for Him (2 Tim. 3:16-17). It is by Scripture we will be judged, not our personal motives, or feelings, or interests. God weighs the heart, now and in judgment; shouldn’t we allow Him to do so now, through His word, that we may be found pleasing to Him? “No creature is hidden from him, but all things are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give an account” (Heb. 4:13).
“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice.