Am I living life in the head or the heart?
How is it that for most of us, we know what to do, but fail to do it? Is the process physiological? Is there a valve stuck inside us that prevents us from doing the right thing when we know what the right thing is? I’ve often wondered about the position Pilate was in, standing face to face with Jesus… doing what he could to release Jesus, everything except the right thing. I believe Pilate was a desperate man… putting his political career ahead of what he knew was the right thing to do by verbalizing that Jesus was innocent and dismissing all charges facing Him. Instead, he asks the crowd, who by this time was acting completely irrational, “What shall I do with Jesus?” By this time, the crowd was in a completely emotional state causing them to scream out “Let Him be crucified!” (Mark 15:1-14)
Over the years, I’ve learned that the head doesn’t feel and the heart doesn’t think (Jeremiah 29:8:19). Don’t believe me? Try asking someone who is in very emotional state to explain why they’re so upset… more likely than not their response will be characterized as less than acceptable as they are in that volatile place. However, ask that same person the same question hours later, you’re likely to hear a much more controlled response, even with remorse at how crazy they sounded earlier. Experience has taught me never to make a decision when I’m in that ‘emotional place’… more often than not, the decision is wrong when forced to make that decision without the benefit of slowing down to think the decision through. Living life ‘in the head’ feels safer to me… it allows me to justify my actions. But am I to live this way in all aspects of my life? Perhaps not…
There is one very important aspect of our life as followers of Christ where must strive to live ‘in the heart’ rather than in the safety of the head. I’ve learned that it is the condition of the heart, where actions live, that the true testament of a person lie… not in the words they speak through their mind. Our task, therefore, is to truly get our hearts affected with the Word we hear, so as to drive away a life of religion instead of a life of relationship with our Lord. This is no easy task… the disciples in the Garden of Gethsemane (Luke 22:39-46), as devoted to Christ as they were, could not abide to a request to pray for a short time, even after sharing a meal with Christ where He offered them His body and blood. Were they truly living a life of Christ in their hearts? Do we live a life of Christ in our hearts or have we mastered the art of speaking a good game of a God-centered life? Such a life screams hypocrisy and I don’t want that kind of life. As much as I want to answer ‘Yes!’, that I live my life where my actions and words are in alignment, I wonder the true condition of my heart to live a life that is honoring to God based on my actions, the true testament of the condition of my heart. I seem to be able to make time for so many things I feel are important… am I doing the same thing when it comes to prioritizing God in my life? How many times am I ‘falling asleep’ when it deals with my Lord? Weakness requires tenderness; but disrespect requires severity (Acts 20:7-12). I need to focus on making sure I have my priorities right… how else can I begin to move towards an alignment between word and action… head and heart?
Lord, I come to Yyou asking why is it that the spiritual life seems so tough to thrive in the heart of man… in my own heart? I do love You… why is it so easy for me to push my own way? Why is it so natural for carnal practices to flourish there? Living the spiritual life is not inate for me. Lord, I’ve decided to turn my life over to You, but these are words… I need help to keep my heart and head aligned. Please help me, with Your grace, to prioritize my life, to structure my life so that it is YOU first, then others, then ourselves. Amen.