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The mind justifies what the heart has chosen. This simple maxim unlocks the essence of human decision-making. Within our hearts lies our true motives, agendas, and underlying assumptions. Our hearts determine our character and what kind of person we will be. As evidenced by hundreds of Scriptures, it is vital in our Christian walk to understand and guard our hearts. The heart is a key indicator of the human struggle, saved or unsaved, and our lives and lifestyle truly flow out from it.
As water reflects the face, so one’s life reflects the heart. —Proverbs 27:19
Understanding our motivations brings insight into every aspect of life, from how we interact with our families to evaluating the news. These catalysts can easily be revealed in arguments, debates, and our every-day human interactions. When one’s agenda is questioned, emotions kick in, and the brain begins to search for ammunition (past conversations, statistics, and even Scripture references) to justify the position. We emphasize whatever defends our opinion and omit what does not. Thus, we must consider the agendas that underlie our assumptions, as these ultimately shape our view of the world, make sense of our circumstances, and frame our sense of importance and meaning, personally and societally.
Within our hearts lie the root of our justifications, for good or for ill, upon which we create reason within our minds. We enlist the resources of our mind and brain to justify our choices. We do this constantly and, often unknowingly, to justify ourselves or defend God’s Word to the degree it lives in our hearts.
These assumed realities and motivators of the heart are called presuppositions. A presupposition is a set of ideas based on spiritual beliefs and agendas. Every human being operates within a set of presuppositions. In fact, all human study and classification of knowledge is subject to these assumptions, be they conscious or unconscious.
Many (if not most) people are unaware of their own presuppositions, let alone those driving the influential fields of academia and media. As believers, we have a role both in the presentation of the Gospel and in Christian apologetics to help people discover their own agendas and expose the hidden agendas of those trying to influence populous thinking. Presuppositional awareness allows us to sift down to root ideas. Every human being has an agenda. God has an agenda. The devil has agenda. The question is: What is your agenda? And what presuppositions are guiding that agenda?
The Scriptures make it clear that our hearts must be examined and guarded, lest we be led astray. Even after salvation, our propensity for sin requires ongoing heart transformation and renewing of our minds. As David prayed in Psalm 51:10, “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.” David was already saved and walking with the Lord for some time, but he recognized his heart needed change.
Reflecting on “the mind justifies what the heart has chosen,” is an exercise in examining our hearts to see if we are aligned with God, His ways, and His agendas. It is an indispensable tool for discerning the hearts of others, navigating discussions, and analyzing information. Remember this phrase and use it to ask the right questions of yourself and of others to engage in authentic, real conversation and decision-making.
“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” —Proverbs 4:23
For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. —2 Chronicles 16:9