Head or heart?

What comes first, a change of heart or a change of mind?

I love Paul’s mind twister in Romans 7:14-25

Romans 7:14

I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.

His head says one thing, and his heart another. They seem to be at war. A serious struggle with sin feels like our body waging war against itself.

Romans 7:22-23

For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me.

Paul wants his inner being (heart?) to be the one in control of his mind. Yet,

Romans 8:5-7

Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God.

It seems as though Paul’s mind controls his (heart?) desires.

So what’s it to be. A change of heart or a change of mind? Of course the answer is “both”! We ask God to change our heart, our inner desires; we want him to change what drives us and motivates us. If we truly had a heart that loved what God has done for us in Christ then that would drive our mind to know him more deeply. And we want God to change our mind. If our mind is transformed into the mind of Christ then from this righteous action would flow.

Lord, change my heart AND change my mind that I may not be at war in myself.

One thought on “Head or heart?

  1. Thank you Lachlan. I think that its easy for the complacent Christian to use Romans 7 as a cop out. Romans 7 is talking about a lifestyle of sin. This should not be so for the regenerated believer. The Bible says that we are no longer a slave to sin. And that sin is no longer my master. Of course there will be slip-ups – last night for me was a classic example where my words were anything but Christ like. But I could come before my Father and seek forgiveness and a new fresh measure of Grace to change my words when provoked to anger.

    Some scholars teach that Romans 7 is speaking of Paul before his conversion others say its after his conversion and his struggle with sin. I know what i believe. That’s why its so wonderful to have Roman 8. This is all about the victorious life of the Christian in Christ, my favorite after Psalm 119.
    For each of us issues of sin will be different. The closer you are to God the more aware of your sin you will become and its different sins that will bring you to the foot of the cross like your motives, and certain lines of thought.The Holy Spirits work is to create a desire in the believers heart for more and more holiness. If this is not so then we really need to question if we are really saved. May we allow Him to do His work unhindered. May we not conform to this world but be transformed by the renewing of our minds. Romans 12;2a. And part of that renewing process is meditating on scripture and allowing Gods Word to change us from the inside out. And give God permission to have us on His anvil or ridding us of the dross in our lives that gives Christians a bad name.

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