Since many preachers’ definitions of heart do not include any scriptures, I have to believe they get that from psychology or at least some commentary. That bothers me. My first red flag popped up when one man said the heart is the emotional center. That would be a physical heart if I understand correctly. We ponder, think, and understand, etc. with the spiritual heart but not with the physical. A quick reference list shows that certain qualities (good or bad) are in the heart (Matt. 15:16-19). I am not sure how murder fits in, but it is a quality too. Look carefully at the Hebrew meaning of Prov. 23:7–as a man thinketh in his heart. That is strange, but necessary to understand.

“For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee” (Proverbs 23:7).

OT:8176 sha`ar (shaw-ar’); a primitive root; to split or open, i.e. (literally, but only as denominative from OT:8179) to act as gate-keeper (see OT:7778): (figuratively) to estimate: KJV – think.

It seems to me that Matthew 6:21 explains this Hebrew meaning pretty well. What you accept or allow into your heart is what you are. Those issues are what you present every time you speak.

Matthew 5:8, 28

Matthew 6:21

Matthew 11:29

Matthew 12:34-35, 40

Matthew 13:15, 19

Matthew 15:8, 18-19

Matthew 22:37

Matt 24:48

Mark 6:52

Mark 7:6, 19, 21

Mark 8:17

Mark 10:5

Mark 11:23

Mark 12:30, 33

Mark 16:14

Luke 2:19, 51

Luke 6:45

Luke 8:15

Luke 9:47

Luke 10:27

Luke 12:34-35

Luke 24:25, 32

John 12:40

John 13:2

John 14:1

John 14:27

John 16:6, 22

Acts 2:26, 37, 46

Acts 4:32

Acts 5:3

Acts 5:4, 33

Acts 7:23, 51, 54

Acts 8:21-22, 37

Acts 11:23

Acts 13:22

Acts 16:14

Acts 21:13

Acts 28:27

Rom 1:21

Rom 2:5, 29

Rom 6:17

Rom 9:2

Rom 10:6, 8-10

1 Cor 2:9

1 Cor 7:37

1 Cor 14:25

2 Cor 2:4

2 Cor 3:3, 15

2 Cor 5:12

2 Cor 6:11

2 Cor 8:16

2 Cor 9:7

Eph 4:18-19

Eph 6:5-6

Phil 1:7

Col 3:22

1 Thess 2:17

1 Tim 1:5

2 Tim 2:22

Heb 3:10, 12

Heb 4:12

Heb 10:22

Heb 13:9

James 1:26

1 Peter 1:22

1 Peter 3:4

2 Peter 2:14

1 John 3:20

1 John 3:21

Rev 18:7

Conscience seems to be involved with the heart but is not the same as the mind (nous – 3563) because in Titus 1:5 both the mind (3563) and the conscience are defiled.

Proverbs 23:7 actually says that as a man ‘splits’ in his soul, so is he. We can understand from the context that the man’s actions and his inner man are opposites, which no doubt caused the translation to include the heart instead of the soul. This puts a little different light on the Proverb – as a man thinks in his heart, so is he. I have to do some more study on that one!

Matthew 6:21 deals with what we value – our treasure in the sense of what we value. What is highly esteemed among men is an abomination in the sight of God. Men esteem material things, and thus their heart is with those material things. Thus, as a man ‘esteems/values’ in his heart, so is he.

Proverbs 23:7 seems to point more at hypocrisy – what he ‘’splits/opens’ in his soul and his words don’t match. Obviously the Proverb encourages us to be aware of a man’s real value and judgment, which would point to the same thing. This might take more consideration.

2 thoughts on “SPIRITUAL HEART: A Personal Study

  1. I believe the lack of understanding on the “heart” causes a great deal of false teaching. The Bible is clear that our logical thought trained by scripture is our the same thing as our “heart” – it is not our emotions, it is our brain. Hence the references you used. We each take in information in our brain, not our blood-pump. We each make choices based upon that information in our brain. God connected the soul to the brain. The blood-pump may continue working while the brain is dead. When the brain is dead the soul is gone. We need to FEED our heart (brain) on God’s holy word so that our soul will grow and be nourished. “You are what you eat” applies here as much as it does to the human body. If you take in evil you will produce evil. If you take in the word of God, you will bear fruit that is pleasing to the Lord. Choices are at the center of it all – and I do not choose with my blood-pump – I choose with the mind that God gave me to discern good and evil when properly trained.


    1. Thanks, Angi. I appreciate the fact that you have studied this too. There are many references to what is in the heart, and we need to be aware of how the word is used. There is another study about forgiveness and cleansing. Not only does God forgive our sins when we ask him, but he cleanses us too. The things that come out of our mouth show what needs to be cleansed. Out of the mouth the heart speaks.

      Liked by 1 person

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