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Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Heart - Head Alignment

Nelson Mandela said, "A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination." There is another quote I like which kind of dovetails on this idea: "Sometimes the heart sees what is invisible to the eye." (H. Jackson Brown, Jr) There are times when the head has everything thought out so "perfectly", but something is "lost in translation" when it comes to the heart taking action which supports those thoughts! Good thoughts that never materialize in good deeds are pretty much worthless - for intended actions are not really actions at all. The heart has to be part of the equation because it is what helps us to actually put "experience" into the mix.  Without heart taking action upon the thoughts we might imagine, we will simply stand still and never make any forward progress in our walk, relationships, or personal growth.  There must be "integrity" between the two - conduct must conform to the standard one envisions.

Whoever pursues justice and treats others with kindness discovers true life marked by integrity and respect. (Proverbs 21:21 VOICE)

When we want to move from thought into action, it is important to remember these words - for all we do is to be tempered with justice and the kindness we desire for ourselves. It is easy to call "foul" whenever we feel we have been "violated" in any measure - it is another thing to evaluate our actions before anyone can call "foul" to see that they are aligned with consistent values, strong moral code, and the desire to always have Jesus shine through in those actions. Jesus reminded his disciples of this when he said, "...in everything, in every circumstance, do to others as you would have them do to you." (Matthew 7:12 VOICE)  Should it come as any surprise to us that Jesus said these words in closing a discussion about judging others?  His intent was to show us that heart and head must always be aligned with the wisdom and goodness of God himself - anything less is just not going to produce the same outcomes.

We might just want a certain course of action in our lives to be "sanctioned" as okay or allowable by others and even by God himself, but we find we aren't "measured" by the standard we thought we'd find used to evaluate our actions. We begin to discover that others see our actions as a little "skewed" or off-kilter a little. We hear that still small voice telling us we are not quite on the mark, calling out to us to stop before it is too late. Actions come quicker than thought sometimes - even when all the "indicators" are telling us not to act a certain way, we find ourselves barreling down that path where "immature" thought took us. The idea of having integrity in every part of our mind and heart is that we will allow thought to come to a place of being "filtered" until the purest and most honorable of actions can be produced.

Yet, we cannot sit idly by until we "feel" every thought has been "sanctioned" to be worthy of action. Sometimes we step out in faith - trusting what we know to be true about God and his principles of making correct choices based upon standards he has declared by which we must live our lives. This is a little bit of "shakier" ground for us because we are reliant upon being obedient to what we know to be true as God has outlined for us, and what we believe is the right course of action to take. Sometimes the "knowledge" and the "belief" factors don't easily align - there are grey areas, so to speak. At those moments, we have to rely upon the direction of God's Spirit within to help us traverse carefully into those areas - being ever alert to any additional knowledge we may receive that would change our course of action one way or the other.

We might cry "foul" a lot less, or find others declare it less about our actions, when we are committed a little more to having this perfect alignment between head and heart. When God gets center-stage in our thought life, the heart's actions are soon going to change - because desire changes.  Outcomes are a direct result of what is behind those actions - thoughts are the launching pad for each action, whether it be directed at self or others. The standards we use to evaluate the impact or outcome of our actions may actually deter us from taking such action!  Just sayin!