Then shortly after my first daughter was born, he began losing weight. He was taken to the vet, but the vet couldn't figure out what the problem was. One night, I took him out for a walk.
As we were coming home, he quit. He just sat on the road and quit. He didn't want to walk anymore. So, I picked him up and was carrying him home. As I was carrying him home, he died in my arms. I felt the last breath leave him. His little body became limp and heavier.
After I got him home, I looked at him and saw that the life had totally left him. He was gone. Just a few minutes earlier, I had taken him out for a walk. Now, I was carrying his lifeless body home.
That was an experience and a pain I'll never forget. It hit me hard. I didn't want to get another dog for the longest time. I didn't want to chance going through an experience like that again.
I had such pain, because my love for that little dog was deep down in my innermost being...my heart. I didn't have to think about whether I grieved. I just grieved. I saw the little guy with my eyes. My mind told me he was dead. My heart welled up with grief.
My mind and heart were connected.
Our heart also plays a crucial part in our lives. The heart, the deepest part of our soul, reveals our character, our desires and yearnings in different ways. It's the heart that drives us. The mind is the GPS, but the heart is the engine that determines where we go how fast we go.
Scripture is very clear on the importance of the heart.
- Proverbs 12:20 - Deceit can be found in the heart.
- Psalm 51:17 - God desires a broken and contrite heart.
- Matthew 5:8 - Those that have a pure heart are called blessed.
- Matthew 6;20 - Your heart will be where your treasures are. Remember, what you focus on expands. Those things you focus on in your mind, will filter down into your heart.
- Matthew 12:34 - What you speak comes out of your heart.
- Mark 11:23 -
The Mind-Heart Connection
Remember, what you focus on expands and what you focus on will eventually reach the heart and take root there.
This is shown in Ephesians 4;17-19. "This I say therefore, and affirm together with the Lord, that you walk no longer just as the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind. being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them because of the harness of their heart; and they, having become callous, have given themselves over to sensuality."
In taking a look at this closer, you see that:
- They were futile in their minds. They didn't focus on the good things of God. They focused on their own desires. Those things they focused on expanded.
- These negative things they continuously focused on, over time, became ingrained in their hearts. As a result, their hearts were hardened.
- Their hearts, becoming calloused and hard, led them into actions that were not pleasing to God.
So, what you see is that what goes into the mind > leads to the heart > leads to actions.
You and I are driven by our hearts. Our hearts can be warm, cold or lukewarm to the things of God. But, our hearts receive what is allowed into our minds. What we focus on expands. So, those things that expand in our minds will filter down and take root in our heart. What is in our hearts, will drive us to action.
So, you and I need to remember the words of Paul. "...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).