The Trustable Heart

Jim over at Coming Out of the Prayer Closet asks the question: Does Christianity Make Us Better People?

Here is the way I responded:

The problem you describe Jim.. I think.. is the whole problem that many evangelicals.. especially fundamentalists.. have when they describe the heart as desperately wicked. When I woke up to the fact that my heart was good and trustable everything began to change for me.

I have told people that if your heart is wicked then you'd better not try to walk out Proverbs 3:5.. better to lean on your own understanding than to trust a wicked heart. So the question is: When does your heart become good?

I think that it is a part of the born again experience.. the problem for some Christians is that:
  1. The born again experience is too narrowly and exclusively defined by religious leaders. As a result many people who trust Jesus are discredited because they "didn't do it right".. it is a pitiful example of how insecure religious leaders bully sincere believers in Jesus in an attempt to control them.
  2. Religious people teach Christians to lead a life from the head and not the heart.. they actually discourage a heart connection.. I think that they do it because of issues of their own insecurity and their own quest for control.
  3. To live from your heart you have to give up control.. the brain is all about controlling.. the heart is all about trusting. For many this is difficult because the brain wants to follow rules while the heart wants to follow God.. a desire to make and follow rules is evidence of people wanting to live from their heads.
I wrote several posts on this a year and a half ago and it made me consider the impact that bad teaching and thinking about my heart had on me. So, to answer your post's query:

Christianity as a religious system certainly doesn't make you a better person.. no religion can do that.. but being born again (remember point #1) changes everything because it changes your heart and your motives.


  1. My heart says you nailed it; my mind says this can't possibly be right. You've really given me something to think about here, Bob. Thanks.

  2. Ask Jesus:

    Only God can transfigure. No system, no religion, no pattern, no formula, no habit, no morals, no law. Only God.

    Now we need to remember, He got killed for saying things like that. But by God's power He was raised! So it really is God. Like Trinity in The Matrix, "He is The One."

    This would be a great Starbucks discussion!

  3. Something to think about.
    I thought the heart ( soul? ) is the seat of the emotions ? "Emotions can you trust them" ( book ) of course was a classic many years ago. I wish I trusted my heart enough to do ths but when I have, I always get in trouble. I am a older single and never married. That is the context with which I speak. Right now I am interested in a single never married 'young' in the Lord christian man. My heart says 'yes' but my head says NO WAY.

    wierd,I wish it were easier than it is.

  4. Hi Debbie,

    Thanks for dropping by. It is never a good idea to trust your emotions. When I speak of the heart I am speaking of the inner person. For more on this please check out my Control post.

    Blessings, Bob

  5. BOB,
    Every time I have trusted or thought that I was becoming a better person, the rug has been pulled out from under me. It has to be about The heart because isn't that what God changes first in us? I mean that is what you said , sort of. I think it's true. It is my heart breaking that spurs me to action,I can almost always rationalize and talk myself out of what my heart is telling me to do.
    I think it is also extremely hard for me to trust what my heart is telling me, when I am always re-hashing and turning things over in my mind. I think for most people Christianity does not make them better. But Jesus can.

  6. I'm still not sure "I get it." Hmm if you mean that still small voice which quotes scripture or reminds me of His word,then yes I get it. From there then it's strength I need to obey. ( if its difficult )

    If you mean that voice that leads apart from the written word like when God told Paul to " go to a street called straight" type 'stuff'... that's where I fail badly. Or I don't step out at all remembering past failures or disappointments.

    If you have other ideas or recommendations for reading would appreciate it.
    Thankyou !

  7. Hi Debbie,

    I think that when..

    God told Paul to "go to a street called straight"

    ..He was speaking in that still small voice that the scripture speaks of. I think that He can speak audibly but I don't think that He does it regularly. When God spoke to Saul on the road to Damscus no one heard Him.. I think that God was speaking in that small voice that you can only hear with your heart/inner man.

    Just my take on it.

    Blessings, Bob


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