The longer I live, the more dubious sounds the popular wisdom of couch pillows and coffee mugs advising me to “Listen to your heart.” When push comes to shove (as it invariably does), I’m learning the advice my heart dishes out is likely to lead me astray. Let me instead speak to my heart as the psalmist did, singing to his soul in the key of truth:
Why are you cast down, O my soul,Psalm 42:11
and why are you in turmoil within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
my salvation and my God.
Here, we see the writer interrogating his heart, reminding himself about God. Tim Keller writes about this practice, calling it “spiritual soliloquy,” riffing on the device used in plays in which a character speaks his thoughts aloud when alone.
In a recent article for The Atlantic, Keller shares openly about his diagnosis of pancreatic cancer and the debilitating fear that followed. He found that the necessary head work and heart work for a right response came from the words of Scripture. (No surprise there, right?) In Psalm 42:1, “the author is addressing neither God nor the reader, but his own soul, his self. His is not so much listening to his heart as talking to it… He is taking truths about God and pressing them down deep into his heart until they catch fire there.”
Take truth about God and press it down deep into your heart until it catches fire there!Tweet
Whatever you are facing today, I encourage you to engage your head and your heart, using Scripture as your guide. Press the truth down deep. Let it kindle a flame of obedience or courage or perseverance or unselfishness. Ask God to use that flame to provide both light and heat to see you through today’s challenge.
He is faithful.
Holding you in the light,
Lean hard into the truth of Scripture. Then ask God to kindle in you a flame of obedience or courage or perseverance or unselfishness.Tweet
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