You might have heard the famous quote: “The longest journey you will ever take is the 18 inches from your head to your heart.” 18 inches doesn’t seem that far. We can cover that distance in one swift step with our feet. Many of our pets are about that length, and we can run our hands over their soft backs in a matter of seconds.
Somehow, though, letting what we know to be true in our minds settle into our hearts tends to be more complicated.
God’s Word is for the head and the heart. We’re called to “love the Lord with all our heart and all our mind” (Matt 22:37.) God’s Word is supposed to be “kept in our hearts” and “bound to our minds” (Deut 11:18.)
A mixture of both head knowledge and heart reception, faith forges a bond over that 18-inch gap. Faith uses what we believe in our minds to move our hearts. Set to the rhythms of the heart, our thoughts grow steady and purposeful. The connection faith makes between the head, and the heart is part of the fullness we find when we place our faith in Christ alone.
Essentials Keys for Moving Truth from Head to Heart
Here are 3 methods for helping God’s Word connect from your head to your heart:
1. Move From “If” to “Then”
Actionable truth does something. Think of something you know in your brain but wish you felt, like that God always provides. Move that truth from if “God always provides” to then “I don’t need to worry. I can stop replaying this in my mind.”
Proverbs is full of examples of this. In Proverbs 3, for instance, we find that those who keep wisdom and understanding in their sight will be able to lie down and sleep safely and sweetly. As your head recites “God always provides,” tell your heart it can rest because you are safe: the God of wisdom is in sight.
2. Test and Try The Truth
Being a hearer of the Word and not a doer of it contributes to the gap between the head and the heart. If you find yourself believing God’s Word that a gentle answer turns away wrath, but you’re full of anger, test and try that word. Test and try giving a soft answer. Ask the Lord to show you how His Word does not return void.
Even though the responses we receive when we obey aren’t always what we want or expect, we can be sure God always aligns with His Word. He is always faithful. When we live according to the Word we know to be true, our hearts end up stockpiled and reinforced with evidence that God is who He says He is.
3. Recollect Past Faith Connections
Sometimes the reason our heads can’t reconcile with our hearts is because faith is hard. Faith is blind- and sometimes that’s terrifying. Sometimes we don’t see what God is doing and don’t understand His reasoning. This is where we can connect our heads and hearts spiritually using our memories.
If you’ve had a relationship with the Lord for very long, you have memories that prove Him true. You’ve had experiences with the Lord you can’t deny, and no one can argue with. Those experiences are faith-builders and gap connectors. Draw on them when your faith is failing, and you can’t feel in your heart what you know is true. The lingering peace, joy, hope, and comfort of God’s presence in the past can settle your heart in the midst of the present mess.
What ways have you found helpful to move truth from your head to heart?
About the Author
A learner at heart, Bethany McIlrath believes that listening to the Lord’s Word and being attentive to all that He teaches her through daily life is a priceless blessing. Eager to share about her Savior, you can find Bethany’s writing on her blog: First and Second Blog. She would love to connect with you on Twitter or Facebook as well.