Monday, February 12, 2024

It Starts With The Heart

For centuries man has put much effort trying to understand the human mind and behavior. Birthed out of the combination of philosophy and biology this has come to be known as psychology. Although it is somewhat difficult to capture everything that psychology encompasses, the simplest definition of psychology is that it is the study of the human mind and human behavior. Research in psychology seeks to understand and explain thought, emotion, and behavior. However, it is limited due to one simple fact. The human soul, that is, the mind, will and emotions, became corrupted by sin at the fall of Adam in the Garden, effecting the human mind and behavior in a negative, destructive, depraved manner. However, the destructive nature of sin did not stop with the soul, it completely corrupted the entire human himself, spirit, soul and body, "Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually." (Genesis 6:5)

Even after the fall of Adam we see the gross destruction that one human brought upon another. "Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain, and said, “I have acquired a man from the Lord.” Then she bore again, this time his brother Abel. Now Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground. And in the process of time it came to pass that Cain brought an offering of the fruit of the ground to the Lord Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat. And the Lord respected Abel and his offering, but He did not respect Cain and his offering. And Cain was very angry, and his countenance fell." (Genesis 4:1-5)

Notice, Cain became very angry. Anger is considered a secondary emotion because people tend to resort to anger in order to protect themselves from or cover up other vulnerable feelings. A primary feeling is what is felt immediately before one feels anger. Anger is defines as a strong feeling of annoyance, displeasure, or hostility. Next, we see the results of what the mind can produce if anger is not immediately dealt with, "So the Lord said to Cain, "Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it." Now Cain talked with Abel his brother; and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother and killed him." (Genesis 4:6-8) 

We see in the above scripture that not even the Almighty, All Wise God of Heaven in His intervention was able to convince Cain to change his thinking, his mind, which would have changed his behavior. It is apparent that Cain's mind was already fixed by anger that eventually produced a horrific action. The murder of his own flesh and blood brother. As we can see in this example, the mind has been so corrupted with sin, how can one even think that a science that deals with the corrupted mind is able to produce any true positive and lasting results, especially when we see that Cain would not change his mind even when God Himself intervened. Cain's mind was so corrupt, I believe if a psychologist showed up on the scene to try and reason with Cain, there most likely would have been two murders. So, what is the solution to truly fix the human mind and behavior?

 It is not mind over matter, it is not doing good works, it is not even delving into religion although these things in and of themselves may be considered good things. However, it is not any of these things. It is "New Birth" through faith in Jesus Christ, period! Why? Because new birth is not mental, but spiritual. Psychology has to do with the mind, and the new birth has to do with the "hidden man of the heart," (1 Peter 3:4) or the spirit of man. Understand, man is in God's class of being, "Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness." (Genesis 1:26) "What is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of man that You visit him? For You have made him a little lower than yourself, and You have crowned him with glory and honor. You have made him to have dominion over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under his feet." (Psalm 8:4-6)

When man was created in the Garden he was made in the image and likeness of God, that is he was created as a spirit being with a soul in a body, because God is a Spirit. (John 4:24) Man was created so that, by partaking of God's nature, he might become a child of God. If man was simply a physical being, then he would not have receive God's nature, thereby, making him nothing more than a mental being. He had to be a spirit being, an eternal being, who would live as God lives. Man was created so that he could be the companion and associate of God Himself. As we saw in Psalm 8, God gave man authority over creation, that is, the laws of nature as well as over every living thing. If we were to study the gospels, the ministry of Jesus, we would find that the same authority that Adam had was also given to Jesus. We would see in the gospels such things as Jesus walking on water, changing water into wine, restoring broken, maimed bodies, calming the sea and raising the dead.

Before Adam fell in the Garden, during his fellowship with God, his spirit ruled him. His soul and body were subject to his spirit. But, when he sinned, his spirit was enveloped by his flesh (Genesis 6:4), that is, the combination of his soul and body. He became spiritually dead, took on the satanic nature and his spirit became subordinate to his flesh, that is, his five senses. Adam was then driven from the presence of God and became a partaker of a Satan corrupted world. In this new world system he had to see clearly and hear keenly, or an animal could take advantage of him and he could lose his life. His taste must tell him what was good to eat. His touch must tell him whether or not an object was hot or cold, sharp, rough or smooth. His wisdom and knowledge would no longer be tied to God, but his education would be gained through his five senses. Man's spirit lost contact with God. His body became mortal, that is, subject to death.

This is the condition in which Jesus found the human race when He left eternity and broke into time and space to introduce the Father to fallen man for the purpose of restoring man back to God (2 Corinthians 5:18-19). So, as we can clearly see, psychology has no ability to truly fix the human mind or behavior, because the mind can only be transform when the "hidden man of the heart" receives new birth. Jeremiah said it this way, "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; Who can know it?" (Jeremiah 17:9) Without the renewing of the heart, new birth, the mind remains corrupted and under the sway of a satanically influenced world (1 John 5:19). So, do not be surprised when people who have not experienced new birth say and act the way they do. Where they are quick to seek out psychologists and or psychiatrists hoping to find relief. It is simply fallen man trying to be fixed by fallen man. Jesus said, "Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30). Grace and Peace be with you through Christ our LORD... 

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