Nonphysical or Spiritual Heart Disease
There is another more serious kind of heart disease that we should be concerned about. It is much more common and deadly than coronary heart disease. Like the silent killer aspect of a heart organ, its early onset and hardening feature, it must be diagnosed and treated for if it is not prevented or treated it can dampen the individual’s hope of a calm and tranquil life of peace (shalom). The disease itself is referred to as “Hardness of Heart”.
When the Bible refers to the heart, it is not referring to the physical organ itself but a figure of speech to indicate the seat of emotion and intellect, the innermost nature of a mankind.
According to several Bible dictionaries, the heart is the center not only of spiritual activity, but of all the operations of human life. The heart is the "home of the personal life," and hence a man is designated, according to his heart, wise, pure, upright and righteous, pious and good.
The heart is also the seat of the conscience. (Incidentally, the Hebrew language has no word for conscience, so the word heart was often used to express this concept.)
This may shock some of our fellow bloggers, but the heart is also naturally wicked, and hence it contaminates the whole life and character. Hence the heart must be changed, regenerated before a man can willingly obey God.
In summary, the heart is the center of all the operations of human life. When understood in context of specific biblical passages, the heart stands for the person’s identity and for all the vital functions of one’s mental, emotional and spiritual nature. This identity and nature, as described above, can be viewed as ‘good’ or ‘not good’.
(More on the hardness of heart in upcoming posts.)