No kidding! If there was a competition between the heart and the brain for who could gather more information, which do you think would win? I think the heart would win easily. The heart is a gatherer. It remembers things your brain has long forgotten. Its nature is to gather information, classify it, and store it. And it never forgets.
Why do you dislike certain people, even before you hear them talk or know anything about them? Why do you collect certain things? Why do you open yourself to someone so easily when you know better? All of these things are based on the categorizing and evaluating done in your heart. Your brain has little to do with it.
Of course, I am not even trying to be anatomically or even psychologically correct here. I am trying to tell you what you have already experienced and why. You already know what I mean when I say that your heart is not your brain. If it were, you would not have done some of the things you knew you shouldn’t do. No, the heart is a different creature.
The heart is filled with fears, anxieties, successes, pride, shame—and all kinds of things it has picked up through your life. I have written about the flesh in previous posts. It seems to me that the heart is the place the flesh stores all its stuff.
Years ago, when you were a little baby, something happened that frightened you. Your heart stored that event and all the little details. Today, when something happens that connects to that event, you become afraid. Your brain doesn’t have a clue what’s going on, but your heart knows. In fact, it is hard work to convince yourself that you don’t have to feel that fear. You believe it is irrational, abnormal. People think you are being foolish. You don’t want to be afraid, but it just happens.
Then along comes someone or some teaching that uses that fear to manipulate you. Maybe they cause the fear to rise so you will do something. Maybe they offer hope that the fear will be conquered and you open yourself to them. And they get you to make commitments and do things you would never do if you were thinking clearly.
The heart can be manipulated. It can be deceived. It can be damaged by those who reach in and try to control it. The heart is vulnerable.
There is so much more to say, but I will just add two more points. First, this is why you feel this combination of anger and grief and fear about some of the relationships in your life. Your brain says you were stupid, that you knew better. But the problem wasn’t in your brain. The problem was in your heart. Now that your brain is (sort of) aware of the situation, you will be more careful; but you don’t know if you can trust yourself. Your feelings get mixed up because someone has messed with your heart and you don’t know what to do about it.
Second, there is more than hope. There is victory. “God is greater than our heart,” the Bible says. In fact, there is an opportunity in Christ to look past the input of the flesh and the feelings of the heart to the truth about yourself and the world around you.