- Religion and Philosophy
Where Your Heart Is, There Your Treasure Will Be Also
The Heart...Who Can Know It?
Often times, people ask me: how can anyone know what's inside the heart of people? Well, the answer is found within the pages of God's Word. The Bible speaks volumes on the condition of a person's heart. In Hebrews 4:12, the author writes For the word of God [is] living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
It is important to note that the author differentiates the spirit from the soul. Though they are used interchangeably, there is a significant difference. The soul is the seat of our emotions. It's how we think predicated on our past experiences. In short, it is our emotions. The spirit, on the other hand, is the heartbeat of a person. It is what gives us life. When God created Adam out from the dust of the ground, we are told that God breathed into his nostrils making him a living being. The best way to describe the two is simply this: the soul is the head, while the spirit is the heart. Neither one can function without the other.
I know some people will argue that Jesus forewarns people not to judge another: for by the same standards used to judge others will used to judge them, And that is true. He does caution people from casting judgment upon other. He does, however, say that people will know the heart of others by the fruits they bear. A person who bears good fruit will reap the fruits of the Spirit: joy, peace, kindness, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23), while those who bear bad fruit will spew out anger and resentment towards another or others. Hatred and hurt is their coping mechanisms. They lack to tactfulness in the things they say and do. And by all means, the will exhibit the inability to forgive.
Such fruit is usually made known during critical times and in times of crisis--that is when a persons true character is defined. Some years I heard a person say that a crisis does not define character, but it is character that defines the crisis. There is much truth in that statement. The heart of people is usually displayed by the fruits they bear during times of change and times of crisis.
Another way to determine where people's heart are is in their treasures. In Matthew 6:21, Jesus does not beat around the bush when He says: "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Much can be said about people by the way they hold onto their prized possessions. When push comes to shove, they would rather hold onto the things of this earth rather than focusing on things which are eternal. Money and the material things that bring pleasure are paramount. They are unwilling to sacrifice much in order to save little. Sounds backward, doesn't it? Hmmn? That's because it is...God's way of doing things is not always the world's way of doing things. For example, Jesus defines leadership contrary to the paradigm of this world. He describes a true leader as one who willing to serve others and to sacrifice for the sake of others. Well, the same is true, when it comes to how people cherish their personal possessions. If, for example, a person has a choice of contributing a 1000.00 to a homeless shelter or cashing that money on a play-off ticket, which would they chose? Which would you chose? That's the point.
Sure, your soul could rationalize by arguing that this is first time your team has made it to the play-offs in the past twenty years...but what does your spirit say....your $1000.00 would feed 100 people and give them five nights of lodging. In short, you are combating for 3 hours of cheap entertainment versus a lifelong message of hope. Your gift could literally spare a person's life from a hard and harsh winter night. Isn't that worth a $1000.00. You bet it is! Yet, how many of you reading this is thinking: well they are homeless because they want to be homeless...that may be true, to some extent...but are you not judging that person or those people?