The heart has been described as the seat of affections. It is true! Our emotions and feelings are held in our heart. While we would not define love as being an emotion, there are distinct feelings associated with love, and these feelings are a condition of the heart.
Our heart is affected, one way or the other, by our various interpersonal relationships. It is in the heart that we feel the pains of a broken relationship, the death of a loved one, or the loss of a job. When we speak of a “heartbreak” for example, it refers to a very strong feeling of sadness, anguish or disappointment — it is an intense grief or distress. In the heart, we also experience fear, anxiety and frustration. Guilt, shame and embarrassment are also felt in the heart.
Conversely, the jubilation of newlyweds on their honeymoon, a mother’s joy of holding her newborn baby and the great accomplishment a graduate feels after crossing the stage, are all favourable emotions of the heart.
We are quite aware that the feelings of the heart can be extremely varied. Because of this, we cannot afford to make decisions based on our emotions. We know, all too well, that feelings change. The wise man Solomon gives good counsel in this regard: “He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool: but whoso walketh wisely, he shall be delivered” (Prov. 28:26).
Our emotions are not meant to be the source for decision making, but rather they can assist with empowering decisions that have been made. It is therefore imperative that we make a concerted effort to manage the direction of our heart.