A familiar companion to all of us, who live in this world, is our own personal conscience. It goes with us no matter where we go or what we do or how we act. Our conscience should be able to regulate our thoughts, our actions, our outlook on life, our relationships with others and who we really are inside.
When it comes to right and wrong, our conscience should cut to the “heart” of any concern in our personal makeup, right or wrong. When it comes to who we really are deep down, the question begs to be asked, “What’s in our hearts?” In essence, what controls our thoughts, our emotions, our viewpoints, our makeup, our “person?”
Who are we really? What is in our hearts? Do we have a wise heart? Are our hearts receptive to real Christian values and do we “live” these values in our daily lives?
There are many catchphrases about the heart. Like, “put your whole heart into it” and, “have heartfelt feelings” and, “wearing your heart on your sleeve” and, “deep in ones’ heart” and many more.
Edward Blumer-Litton said, “That a good heart is better than all the heads in the world.”
Tanya A. Moore said, “A person’s world is only as big as their heart.”
A Chinese proverb says, “If I keep a green bough in my heart, then the singing bird will come.”
The Bible also gives us quotes about the heart. Romans 10:10 says, “For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” Galatians 6:9 says, “And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.” Jesus himself said in Matthew 22:37, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.”
Yet, there’s a flip side to what the heart holds and God is not mocked; He knows us better than we know ourselves and we need to be very careful what we allow into our hearts. In Mark 7:6, Jesus answered the Pharisees and the Scribes saying, “He answered and said to them, ‘Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written: “This people honors Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me”’” (Quoting Isaiah 29:13).
Matthew 15:19 says, “For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies.” And, of course, Jeremiah 17:9 says, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?”
We have to ask ourselves, “Do we have a good, Christian heart? Are we truly seeking God, humbly, with our whole heart? Or, do we have a proud heart, “fat as grease?”—in other words, proud, stupid or slow to understand?
Psalm 119 gives us insight to these important questions. In verse 2 it is written, “Blessed are those who keep His testimonies, who seek Him with the whole heart.”
Psalm 119:67–70 says, “Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I keep Your word, You are good, and do good; teach me Your statutes. The proud have forged a lie against me, but I will keep Your precepts with my whole heart. Their heart is fat as grease, but I delight in Your law.”
What truly controls our conscience as we all live before the great God of the universe? Where does our heart “stand” in relationship to Jesus Christ and God the Father? Throughout Psalm 119 the reoccurring theme is to be taught and to learn and to understand the statutes, laws, precepts, ways and commandments of God—and to do so with a humble, caring, loving heart. Not a proud or “fat” heart of self-righteousness or hypocrisy.
As time continues for those of us who really care what God thinks about us, we need to be “conscience clear,” carefully preparing what’s in our hearts, clarifying where our treasure is, and beseeching our God to put in us a clean heart worthy of His blessings and protection.
If you would like to learn more about serving God with all of your heart, please watch the vital Tomorrow’s World telecast, “Are Feelings Enough?”