The human heart is a mystery. Science is able to study the inner workings of this intricate organ and understand its physiology. The intrigue comes when we look at the heart as the keeper of our emotions. For example, what does it mean when we say our heart aches? It’s not a physical pain we refer to, but an emotional discomfort.

Take forgiveness—a matter of the heart, no doubt. Forgiving can be a very difficult matter for the heart, and it can be the source of much heartache. My brain is intelligent enough to understand the concept of forgiveness and its wisdom too. My intellect can even give me proper instructions to go through the process. Alas, my heart is not so smart. Sometimes, it doesn’t want to listen to what is right and would rather respond like a small child. When my heart aches, it is very stubborn and unwilling to listen to reason. My heart holds onto anger and bitterness long after my head has been able to process a hurtful event and give good reason to dismiss the negative emotions associated with being unforgiving.

Matthew 6:14-15 says, “For if you forgive others when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”

Wow. My head gets it. If I don’t forgive those who cause me harm, God is not going to forgive me. That is a serious problem!

Romans 7:15-20 says, “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do–this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.”

Then why does my heart not respond more appropriately and make better choices? We have a heart condition. The diagnosis is serious. The problem is sin.

Forgiving each other is not an option; it is a command. Forgiving can be very challenging. However, it is what God calls us to do. God does not leave us to this difficult task on our own, but has given us the power of the Holy Spirit.

John 14: 26-27 says, “But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”

I will never understand the way the heart works as keeper of the emotions. The heart keeps us alive, both physically and emotionally. Perhaps this is all I need to understand; maybe the emotional side is not one we are meant to understand.

A heart condition is a serious matter. I must turn this fascinating organ and the condition of my heart over to God, admitting my heart condition, and surrendering it to Him.

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