What is the heart? If someone went around asking strangers this question I believe the answer would come out in a multiple of ways. In all honesty, i'm not sure if its even something that most people think about until they are asked. As you will read further down in my personal reflection, the matter of the heart has always been puzzling to me. I have never been able to fully grasp the meaning, and the more I tried to understand the more confused I seemed to be.
After Dr. Corsini shed some light on this issue in class I began to research different articles concerning the matter. When searing, I found THIS LINK that in many ways paralleled with what had been discussed in class. As this source says, it seems that a lot of the confusion of the immaterial aspect concerning the heart, especially in scripture, comes from the difference in translation between the English and Hebrew languages As the text says, the English translation uses the word "heart" when speaking of emotion, ergo the commonly heard expression "my heart is broken". The Hebrew translation, however, appears to have a broader meaning that extends further than the westernized explanation. Although the translation can cause a problem for many, it is apparent to most individuals, even non Chris followers, that the heart is a source for more than blood. Those of us that do follow the Lords calling are blessed with the Bible as a source for further explanation concerning the nature of this matter. This source of information provides scripture to support many of the explanations that the heart is said to be.
Why does this matter as a Christian counselor? It is evident to me from this source as well as from a variety of others that the heart is what makes us as humans unique. Our character, emotions, and thoughts are all aspects to what makes an individual different than the person sitting next to them. As a counselor in general, we will never counsel any individual who does not contain a heart. This very fact alone, makes it essential for counselors to understand the importance of knowing that the heart influences why we act the way we do. In addition, we are studying to be CHRISTIAN counselors. The bible is full of spiritual knowledge concerning the importance of the heart, and how we as Christians should observe it. If nothing else I hope that this source has given each reader a better understanding of the scripture related to the heart and its importance. I know it has for me.
The aspect of the “heart” has always been something that has puzzled me. When I was a little girl I learned at school that I had a heart inside of me. I grew up labeling the different parts and I knew without one I would not be alive. Then I would go to church and hear the pastor use phrases like, “You need to ask Jesus into your heart.” In addition, to add to this confusion I grew up hearing friends use expressions like “Guard your heart” and “My heart is broken.” As a young adult, this confusion has resulted in a variety of jumbled up definitions all combined into one brain. There have been several times where I even was determined to resolve the ongoing conflict in my heard by studying what scripture had to say. I have to be honest when I say that my lack of knowledge concerning scripture on this subject confused me even more. I found verses such as Proverbs 4:23 “Guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life” and Jeremiah 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure.” contradictory. Was the heart good or bad, something inside of me or immaterial? I had no idea.
This is exactly why I was in a way relieved when Dr. Corsini brought up the familiar question, “What exactly is the heart?” As he began to describe the immaterial aspect of the heart, things began to come together for me. By understanding it as the center of intellectual life, emotional life, volitional life, and spiritual life I began to grasp that the heart was what made me unique. I began to recognize that hearing expressions like “The Lord desires our heart to be fully committed to him” was just another way of saying that the Lord wants to be the center of our intellectual, emotional, volitional, and spiritual life. This was a defining moment for me.