As Christians, we should embrace all the three areas of our Christian life—thinking, affection, and doing. But in Part 1 of this article, we’ve seen how our thinking has been broken and affected by sin. We sifted through some biblical data addressing the area of our minds.
In summary, our minds are broken and we, therefore, can’t trust our thinking. Just because something is in our heads it doesn’t mean it is right. As a result, we’ve to fuel our thinking with the truth—The Word of God is the truth (John 17:17).
But there’s also a warning. As we study the Word of God and inform our heads with the truth, our affections should be transformed. As John Piper puts it, “Right thinking about God exists for the sake of right feelings for God.” The whole point of studying the Bible and knowing the truth is so that our hearts can be transformed. But why should our renewed minds transform our hearts? That’s what we’ll be looking at in this part of the article sequel on broken beauty in pieces.
Our hearts are deceitful – we’ve wrong affections
Come now, let us reason together. Do you remember that one time (out of a thousand times) you had a gushing fear in your heart? I’m referring to that moment when you saw someone, or a group of people, and asked the most common question on earth, “What do you think of me?” Obviously, you didn’t publicise those words, they were in your head. You were pondering on what the other person was possibly thinking about you—“Do they like me?”
Now, let’s look at your heart—how did you feel at that moment? How did you act? If you carefully examine yourself at that moment, you’d be right to come to a conclusion that your emotions or feelings were affected. Maybe you became sad, or anxious, or experienced fear. Those emotions paralysed you. You started to act weird and abnormal. You started to act like a bridegroom meeting his bride for the first time; that moment when he initiated the riskiest human pursuit in order to win her heart.
Conclusion: Your emotions were informed by your thinking. You asked, “What do they think of me?” And your emotions revealed your own answer to that question. You never went to them to ask. Rather you asked the question and answered yourself. That answer affected your emotions. But do you see the problem?
The problem is that your conclusion wasn’t based on truth—you trusted your head too much. You formulated assumptions based on what you think they’re thinking about you, which in turn affected your emotions. I’ve been there before. In fact, I’m struggling with that right now: What do you think of me?
“The world constantly tells us, “Trust your heart.” The Bible says No, don’t!” tweet
I’m not revealing this weakness of yours—the fear of man—in order to make you feel guilty and stupid. What I’m doing is building a case in support of Jeremiah 17:9 when it says “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” The world constantly tells us, “Trust your heart.” The Bible says No, don’t!
If I was to trust my heart, my life would be the most miserable in the world. I know my broken head constantly feeds false information to my heart. Therefore, I don’t trust my heart. Imagine the anxiety. Imagine the anger. Imagine the contempt. Imagine the aggressiveness. No! I don’t want to trust my heart. That’s what we learn from Jeremiah 17:9.
I’d rather trust the truth. The Bible is the Word of God and is the truth. The Bible says God is for me. He is sovereign. He is powerful. I have all that I need in him. That is the truth, and my affections would rather be informed by it. Instead of being anxious I’d be calm. Instead of being angry I’d be at peace. Instead of being contempt I’d be respectful. Instead of being aggressive I’d be patient and meek. My emotions would rather be informed by what is true.
Do you see the connection between our thinking and affections? I hope you do. Let me re-ask this question again: What do you think, feel and do when you see something beautiful?
I hope you’ve got a glimpse of where we’re headed.
God is beautiful and seeing him as we read our Bibles should positively affect our thinking, feeling and doing. It’s a must that transformation takes place as we see him. We’ll get back to more on that later.