Balance Between Heart And Mind

February 22, 2017

Balance Between Heart And Mind

The thoughts in this article are taken from the truths found in Proverbs 3:1-10. You will benefit much from reading these verses before you read this article.

Having too much of one thing in life and not enough of another can throw us off balance. Bible knowledge enables us to have the proper balance between our heart and our mind. If our life is out of balance we go from one extreme to another. We put emphasis on one thing and neglect something else that is also important. We need Bible knowledge, but if that is all we have we won’t have the knowledge it takes to make a living.

A careful study of Proverbs 3:1-6 will show us the need of giving the proper attention to both our heart and our mind. Verses 7-10 of this chapter tell us how it will benefit us if we maintain a balance between the two. The author begins by saying “forget not.” We can’t forget something unless we have learned it. To learn something demands that we use our mind. Here he is talking about remembering the law. We need to have knowledge of what God expects of us. God’s law teaches us what is right and wrong. If we love the Lord the way we should, then we will realize the need of knowing what God’s law says. At the same time, our heart will embrace God’s law. It is to our advantage to know what is right and wrong. If not, we will make foolish mistakes that hurt us and others. Verse two lists some of the benefits of taking heed to God’s law.

The lack of balance doesn’t always mean that we never exercise our mind and learn. Frequently we hear of men who are college graduates. They profess to be Christians, but they don’t have a balance between heart and mind. They may have a good job, but their heart is set on making money and having material possessions. To all the world, it may look like they are successful, but their home is a disaster because they haven’t given consideration to God’s law. If They aren’t already divorced, they are approaching it. They have never learned how to relate to people and love them. Those are skills we learn by having Bible knowledge. These people are lacking what is mentioned in Romans 1:31. “Without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful.” Their career has been their priority. They have money, but they don’t have peace. They neglect to give attention to a part of life that is extremely important. They follow their hearts desire, but neglect to learn how to live. We need to learn from Ezra 7:10 that we need to prepare our hearts. “For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the law of the LORD, and to do it, and to teach in Israel statutes and judgments.”

This imbalance between heart and mind often manifests itself in the attitude of children and young people. They say, “I don’t like to study.” I can understand why they say that. It is an effort to study. It takes self discipline. There are more entertaining things to do in life. It may be boring. They need to take seriously what Proverbs 1:7 says, “Fools despise wisdom and instruction.” To neglect your education is to go the way of the fool. At times, with young people, I have used the illustration of the man who is jealous of a man he knew as a child. They lived in the same neighborhood and went to the same school. He is jealous because the other man has made a success in life. He has a good job and a happy home. He says, “It isn’t fair that he should have so much and I have so little.” He should stop to realize that the difference is that his friend worked hard to complete his homework and got good grades in school while he spent his time playing ball and electronic games.

The one who puts undue emphasis on his heart spends his time in that which is more entertaining. He doesn’t stop to ponder on what we read in Jeremiah 17:9. “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” Matthew 15:19-20 says “For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies:

These are the things which defile a man.” Proverbs 4:23 says “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.” We need to keep our hearts in line. That is where the mind comes in. Bible knowledge helps us do that. We need to teach our hearts to love the Lord. If we love the Lord we will love his word which is the truth.

Verse three of our text says “Let not mercy and truth forsake thee.” That takes an effort on the part of both the mind and the heart. It is with the mind that we know what is the truth. With the heart we have mercy. Matthew 22:37 tells us that we are to love the Lord with both our hearts and our minds. “Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.” We need to love the Lord with our heart and use our mind to know what we need to do to please him.

Christian young people need balance between their heart and mind. If not, they can easily fall in love with someone who will not be a good mate for them. They say “love is blind.” It is, unless we have an active mind that gives us discernment. Many times young people reject the way of the Lord because their heart embraces the things they would have to give up to follow the Lord. They have neglected their mind to the point that they can’t see that God’s way is best for them.

Lack of balance between mind and heart causes many to reject God’s plan of salvation. They know that to be a Christian would put some limits on their liberty. They reject a glorious future in exchange for the liberty to walk in the broad way that leads to destruction.

Just as we need to keep our hearts, we also need to keep our minds. Don’t let your mind dwell on impure thoughts. If you do, it will break down your resistance and eventually result in impure deeds. Philippians 4:8 suggests some things on which we should think. “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”


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