To they who yield their hearts unto many… this is for you. All people have commitments to things… whither they be other people, obligations, or passions. In life there are many forces and dynamics vying for your attention and time. It’s almost like a marketplace of ideas, contraptions, and whatnot — that people put forth into existence by the expression of words and images.
The heart can be swayed, influenced, convicted, and entrapped. It can be given facts, and many types of information — and who are we to know what is true or not? It can be very difficult. You don’t live a good life from having the best information; rather, in my opinion — you live a good life from by acting on good enough information, and implementing it into a better reality for yourself.
I have learned from a friend named Richard Murray (you can find his awesome writings and resources on the thegoodnessofgod.com) that in biblical times the heart in your chest was thought to be the mind (brain). It makes sense why the ancient Israelites and others would think that. The heart reacts to the things we see, feel, and sense. In a way — it is the lively inner metronome of the soul.
One of the strongest forces on the heart is affection. Received and given — affection can inspire people to do incredible things, and it can and has bred the tyrants of the past and present. It really does AFFECT us.
I wouldn’t consider true, pure, and holy love to be the same thing as affection — for even in lust customized affections can be given to another, and then understood to be the real deal. Real love certainly has affectionate attention as a component, but it has many more beautiful facets as well.
Jeremiah had this to say about the heart,
The heart is deceitful above all things,Jeremiah 17:9, ESV
and desperately sick;
who can understand it?
When you take this verse metaphorically it sure seems like our hearts do flip flops on the daily; whether it is in regards to what we want in our lives, or even how we feel towards someone we have known for the longest time. It goes back in forth. It is the most affect-able part of us. It can change even when our minds cannot, and will not.
I don’t think Jeremiah was saying that the heart of humanity was evil or depraved here. I think he was saying something more in line with this famous verse.
So above all, guard the affections of your heart,Proverbs 4:23, The Passion Translation
for they affect all that you are.
Pay attention to the welfare of your innermost being,
for from there flows the wellspring of life.
What you allow yourself to be around and associate with affects your entire being. It affects your heart. When the heart is affected… the effects can be good or bad. Common sense yes, but how many people don’t do this relatively simple thing consistently?
Guard thy heart! Guard thy mind! Guard your soul! In a world where anyone is vying for your heart — you must be vigilant to make sure you are around people that help you grow — rather than helping you to despair and twist your perceptions into the dark void of nothingness.
Paul said it well,
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.Philippians 4:8, NIV
If this kind of stuff is going around in your mind it will surely, and eventually… make its way to your heart.