Why Start with the Heart?

In the Quest for Change, Don’t Overlook Your Hidden HQ

man wearing black cap with eyes closed under cloudy sky
Photo by Kelvin Valerio on Pexels.com

Question for you…how’s your heart? Not the organ in the middle of your chest cavity, mind you, but rather your other heart. The one that is the figurative hub of  your existence, where all your thoughts, motives, and actions originate.

How’s that heart?

I know, it’s a little heavy, but hang in there with me.

To underscore the importance of the human heart, the book of Proverbs uses the analogy of a gurgling spring:

Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life (4:23).

In other words, our incentive to take care of our heart is the certainty that it is the very headwaters of our being. Just as every major river in the world, like the Mississippi or the Nile, has a singular point of origin, so the flow of our lives can be traced back to our heart. Be it clear or muddied, clean or corrupt, the condition of our hearts will inevitably show up downstream in our everyday lives.

Using a different analogy, I sometimes remind myself that my heart is the D.C. of me, meaning it is the capital or hub of my life. As Washington D.C. is the epicenter of the United States, so our heart is the HQ of our personal lives. Yes, for better or worse, the heart governs everything about us.¹

This explains why Jesus bluntly said, “For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, 22 coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness” (Mark 7:21-22) and “…out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks” (Luke 6:45).

Bottom line? The heart of the matter is always the matter of the heart. Our words and behaviors simply reveal what is swirling around below, in our hearts.

This helps us understand why David would pray a prayer like this:

Search me, O God, and know my heartTry me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!”

-Psalm 139:23-24

David recognized that something as vital as the heart requires regular care. So it was by faith that he invited the Lord to probe him in the core of his being for anything malignant and to put him on the right path.

As a personal testimony, I like this prayer of David so much that I use it just about every day in my time with God.  When my heart is a jumbled mess – and it frequently is – this is a helpful way to reset.  God is good to gently and gradually show me my blind spots, extend his grace, and help me change…from the inside out.

So back to the question of the day, how’s your heart?

It’s a new day with God. Run with it.





¹Issler, Klaus Living into the Life of Jesus, IVP. 2012 (pgs. 21-22)


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