The Hebrew word for the “human heart” is “lab” pronounced “labe.” In the Greek the word is “cardia.” Both words refer to “the inner man, his will, and mind and understanding.” Ancient philosophers said the “heart” is the “seat of the soul.” The heart is it’s understood that we do reflection, thinking, and hold memories. From our heart comes forth inclinations, resolutions, and determination. The heart is where our conscience is found.
The word “heart” appears 827 times in the Bible. Most of this is in the Old Testament. Examples are:
- What God planned out for Moses and the Hebrews “hardened Pharaoh’s heart.” (Ex 11:10 RSV)
- God instructs as He gives the Law, “You shall not oppress a stranger; you know the heart of a stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt. (Exo 23:9 RSV)
- King David sings of the comfort the Lord God brings, “Therefore my heart is glad, and my soul rejoices; my body also dwells secure. (Psa 16:9 RSV)
- My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast! I will sing and make melody! (Psa 57:7 RSV)
Jesus puts it succinctly when He said, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” (Mat 5:8 RSV). Our heavenly Father wants us to obtain through Jesus “a pure heart.” A heart that is pure is capable of loving God, and our neighbor, and self. We are given as a gift the Holy Spirit so we may have access to divine grace that alone can help us achieve “a pure heart.”
So Jesus calls us to “… forgive our brother or sister from our heart.” (Mat 18:35 RSV). He is calling us to obtain a healthy heart. To do extensive cardio training to strengthen our heart and its rhythm so it beats with God’s sacred Heart and not to the arrhythmic tones of the world!
When God looks at man through the eyes of Jesus He looks with a Heart filled with love for each soul. Because of free will, God knows how unreliable our hearts can be. Will we choose Jesus? Will we allow that choice to stick forever? Will we allow His saving grace to fill us and guide us? Jesus has made His choice! He wants your heart! Now you must choose as well. It’s up to you. Do you want His love?