Mapping the inner life (Renovation of the Heart Chapter 2)

So, what do we mean when we say things like:
‘Let Jesus come into your heart’
This is an important concept because far too often we throw around words like “heart” without really considering what they mean. So, because Willard has written about the renovation of the heart, he spends chapter 2 mapping out the inner life and what he means when he uses the term heart. This is important because science, psychology, religion, philosophy, and the arts all have differing conceptual ideas about the inner life or the “heart.”
Willard calls the heart, “The center or core to which every other component of the self owes its proper functioning.” It serves as the executive center for every part of our life.
And really, Willard is not just talking about the renovation of the heart, he is talking about renovation of every part of our lives.
What is the ‘life’ that the heart runs? Willard gives 6 aspects to human life:

1. Thought – What is brought to the mind through ideas, perceptions, and imaginations.
2. Feeling – What draws us toward or pulls us from things.
3. Choice – This is what Willard calls the heart or spirit.
4. Body – The focal point of the physical and social.
5. Social context – Our connection with other that is vital to the self.
6. Soul – that which connects all parts.

These are the area that Willard is interested in seeing Christ completely change. To change, we have to understand what we are dealing with. It is so important to understand the inner life because without that understanding we will not understand our actions. Our actions rise out of the interactions of these six parts. As Willard says, “Actions are…expressions of who we are. They come out of the heart and the inner realities it supervises and interacts with.”
Transformation will not occur without a real change in the six parts listed above. Willard is right to take the magnifying glass to our inner life and examine what is happening at the depths of who we are. II Corinthians 13:5 says, “Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith. Examine yourselves.” This examination is the first step toward real change.

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One Response to “Mapping the inner life (Renovation of the Heart Chapter 2)”

  1. Socorro says:

    Deep thoughts to ponder. My thinking is that as we go through life, as hard as it sometimes is, we have to aim at being more like Christ no matter what circumstances or hardships come our way. That is so difficult at times. I mean to stay Christ centered when you can’t see nothing but the storm. Just thinking. God bless.

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