The reality of a hidden depth in our heart is also the answer to a common problem: our lack of understanding of why we behave or feel the way we do. We have certain conscious thoughts and attitudes, but our experience doesn’t seem to correlate with them.
The truth is that other thoughts and attitudes deep in our heart – of which we are not fully conscious – are actually driving our life. As psychotherapist Michael Bernard explains, we have conscious rational thoughts, but also deep internal thought not immediately accessible to us. It is this latter form of thought that often activates our life and contributes to emotional and behavioral disorders.
We often feel like we know and believe something as Christians but, in reality, it is only a surface belief that has never reached the depth of the heart to activate our life. We may believe, for example, that we truly trust God. We know that He is trustworthy. He knows everything. He is all-powerful. And He is infinite love. The combination of these attributes surely makes Him trustworthy in every situation. We can rely on Him. Yet, when negative circumstances arise, we experience anxiety and fear.
The question we must ask ourselves is: do we really trust God in our hearts? Do we know that He is great and loving in the depth of our heart, or is it simply good theological doctrine lying on the surface, in our head?
From: Minding the Heart: The Way of Spiritual Transformation by Robert L. Saucy (Grand Rapids: Kregel Publications, 2013), p. 83.