Kardia is the Greek word for heart. There are three words in this word family; one speaks of knowing the heart, kardiognostes, and only refers to God; the next speaks of a hard heart, sklerokardia, and only speaks of a person who is refusing to believe God’s Word; the third word is kardia. God uses kardia in His Word 160 times, the other two words in this family are used a total of 5 times.
The heart, kardia, is the place whereby a person stores all the phronema, in the form of thought patterns, that is believed; all that the person believes to be true, accurate, and completely trustworthy is stored in the heart.
That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart [kardia] that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart [kardia] man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
All believing comes from the heart. Both right believing and wrong believing; and yes, believing goes in both directions.
Keep thy heart [leb] with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.
Leb is the Hebrew word in the Old Testament for heart; out of it flow the issues of life; again, both good and bad.
A good man out of the good treasure of his heart [kardia] bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart [kardia] bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart [kardia] his mouth speaketh.
What is in the heart will drain out through the mouth, again it will depend upon the strongest thought pattern.
But speaking the truth in love [agape or the love that God demonstrates], may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:
This is what is supposed to come out of our mouths.
Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.
Do your words minister grace to those who hear you? Can you identify words that are words of grace?
Are you beginning to see the importance of the heart?
Poets have tried to extol it.
Philosophers have tried to demystify it.
Psychiatrists have tried to interpret it.
Religion has tried to cleanse it.
But only God truly knows the heart.
And God, which knoweth the hearts [kardiognostes], bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us;
Only God’s words can minister grace unto the listener. Only God’s Word, understood, can set our heart’s on fire with a godly passion.
And they said one to another, did not our heart [kardia] burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?
We can become passionate about the things of the world. But will they minister grace unto those who hear? Where will a passion promoted by the world lead you?
Will the ends justify the means? Perhaps the world will give you anger? Maybe a desire for vengeance? Or perhaps it can push you all the way to hate? We’ve already seen the benefits of what the kosmos offers.
Do not ye yet understand, that whatsoever entereth in at the mouth goeth into the belly, and is cast out into the draught? But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart [kardia]; and they defile the man. For out of the heart [kardia] proceed evil thoughts [reasonings], murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies [slander]: These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man.
Remember Proverbs, keep your heart with all diligence because out of the heart are the issues of life. What do you want coming out of your heart?
Everyday, every single day, and often many times within each day, the child of God is confronted with events or situations from the world and the mind is called upon to decide; will I go the world’s way or the Word’s way?
You make the decision; you make the call. As a child of God, you control your direction, you control your own destiny in life.
Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart [kardia] be also.
These are the words of Jesus Christ, speaking to a Jewish, or Middle Eastern audience. These words are readily understood to a person of their culture; that is not true when you speak these words to a different culture.
Much of the Christian teaching on these verses is okay but okay isn’t enough when we are dealing with God’s Word. Christian teachings pertaining to these verses miss the full impact of the verses because they miss the Orientalism.
What is an Orientalism you ask?
“Orientalism is the study of Near and Far Eastern societies and cultures, languages, and peoples by Western scholars. It can also refer to the imitation or depiction of aspects of Eastern cultures in the West by writers, designers, and artists.”1
Some, in our politically correct society, deem this term, orientialism, offensive as they say it carries an air of imperialism. To strive to better understand the idioms of the culture where the Bible was written is not imperialism, it is an intelligent and wise aspect of studying the Bible. It is an aspect of God’s Word that is required to know if you have a desire to know and understand what God is saying.
Most consider an orientialism to only deal with the countries of Asia, what many times today is called the Orient. However, notice we refer to Asia as the East and Israel as the Middle East or Modern-day Turkey as Asia Minor. The Israeli and Arabian cultures will only be understood if you study orientalisms.
Sir Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan2 said, “Any interpretation of the Jewish religion which ignores the total environment in which it grew up would be dangerously narrow.”
Dr. K.C. Pillai’s understanding of these verses in Matthew 6 offers great insight as to the Orientalisms involved.
Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:
Generally, the Western mind thinks of the treasures as financial matters, but treasures is speaking of your thoughts.
Bishop Pillai3 adds, “Heaven speaks of the realm of the spirit. Earth is the realm of matter, which is material things. The moth is fear that eats away our thoughts. Rust is worry that corrodes and destroys godly, positive thoughts, and corrupt means to breed.”4
Bishop Pillai gave a translation of these verses in Matthew 6 considering Oriental philosophy and understanding;
When you read the Bible as a book written by men from the East, using Eastern idioms and figures, so many verses of scripture become much clearer and easier to understand.
Now, let’s continue with Matthew and gain a little more understanding considering another Orientalism.
The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single; thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil; thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!
In this Orientalism, the body is put for life and the eye is put for spiritual understanding. Therefore, the light of your life is your spiritual understanding; if your spiritual understanding is single, set on God, then your life will be filled with His Light.
The next verse is a figure of speech, Oxymoron.6 An oxymoron is “a wise saying that seems foolish.” The oxymoron is, how can light be darkness? What it is saying is, if the light of your life is darkness, i.e. human wisdom or the wisdom of the kosmos, you will be filled with darkness.7
Taking care of your heart is of the utmost importance and requires much work. Renewed mind is work! But it is much easier to care for your heart with the words of God then to come back to God’s Word later looking to repair the heart that has been broken by the things of the kosmos.
Trust in the LORD with all thine heart [leb]; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
1. New World Encyclopedia https://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Orientalism
2. Sir Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, 1888 – 1975, was an Indian philosopher, academic, and statesman. From 1952 to 1962 he was the first vice-president of India and from 1962 to 1967 he was the second President of India.
3. Dr. K.C. Pillai, a Bishop in the Indian Orthodox Church, converted from Hinduism to Christianity. He traveled the Western world teaching Orientalisms of the Bible.
4. Bishop K.C. Pillai, D.D., Orientalisms of the Bible, Volume 1, page 2.
5. Bishop K.C. Pillai, D.D., Orientalisms of the Bible, Volume 1, page 2-3
6. E.W. Bullinger, Figures of Speech in the Bible, pages 816-817
7.See Ephesians 4:18
©Auxano Ministry 2020
All verses quoted in this teaching are from the King James Version unless otherwise noted.