Jeremiah 17:9-10 – The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; who can understand it? I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind, even to give to each man according to his ways, according to the results of his deeds.

The Word of God spoken through Jeremiah His prophet is a beginning point for our understanding of the heart. There are many verses before Jeremiah’s statement we could examine, but these Scriptures go to the depth of the human problem and God’s dealings with mankind.

David, as a young man, treasured God’s word in his heart. “Your word I have treasured in my heart, that I may not sin against You (Psalm 119:11). David understood his need to get the Word of God into the deepest area of his life, his heart. Many are aware of what God’s word declares, but have not treasured the word by memorizing and meditating on the Word.

Solomon exhorts us in Proverbs 3 concerning the heart. “My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments; For length of days and years of life and peace they will add to you. Do not let kindness and truth leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. So you will find favor and good repute in the sight of God and man. Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.” How could I ever say it better? This is the Holy Spirit speaking through Solomon.

Consider verse 3: “do not let kindness and truth leave you.” I call these the “twin sisters.” Both heart and mind are tied together. One can be so into the mind they are unkind in the application of truth. On the other hand, one can be so kind, they are kinder than God. God’s kindness never violates His eternal truths. The human danger is to be led by our emotions and not by the eternal truth of God’s Word. For some, they become legalistic in the application of God’s word and death is produced rather than life. God is always redemptive in His purpose. We too, need to be redemptive in our dealings with people.

The disciples of Jesus were arguing among themselves to which of them might be the greatest. “But Jesus, knowing what they were thinking in their hearts, took a child and stood him by His side, and said to them, ‘Whoever receives this child in My name receives Me, and whoever receives Me receives Him who sent Me; for the one who is least among all of you, this is the one who is great’” (Luke 9:46-48). There are so many New Testament Scriptures about the heart, this is one of my favorites. It captures the problem and the solution of our heart condition. Today, meditate on Jesus’ words to His disciples and see what the Lord reveals to you.

Father, help me to let go of any high mindedness that is in my heart and receive in Your name, a heart of humility toward others.