It's been awhile. Dylan will be in Michigan sometime this summer, but I'm not sure I'm able to go. We'll see. The following lyric is a cut of "Heart of Mine" from Shot of Love, (1981). Ringo Starr plays the tom tom in it. The general idea of the song is based on Jeremiah 17:9 that "The heart is more deceitful above all else, and is desperately sick, who can understand it?" and applies it to a story of a man dealing with a unscrupulous heart which leads him into disasterous relationships with the wrong women. He's already lost the battle.
Heart of mine so malicious and so full of guile
Give you an inch and you’ll take a mile
Don’t let yourself fall
Don’t let yourself stumble
If you can’t do the time, don’t do the crime
Heart of mine
Apparently, he hasn't heard of Proverbs 4:23 about guarding or watching over one's heart, because it is the wellspring of life. "Watch over your heart with all diligence, For from it flow the springs of life". If it is sick, then your whole life is sick. The man in this song will not have anything going right in his life for a very long time until he learns self control.
The discipline of self control commonly deals with what exposure from the outside world that I let into my thought life--my books, my Netflix account and the television I watch. In this day and age, this is a very tricky endeavor. For a long time, I used to battle depression. Part of the depression was from not facing the truth of the past, but it also had a lot to do with the books I read. Most Christians I know are careful about what they watch or read because of sexual content, but I think it is a little more complicated than that. I also think that discipline is needed to deal with the heart itself. Where am I directing it? How am I guiding it?
The bottom line, really, is how my heart is the dwelling place of God. He cleans it up, and He lives there. Every thought, every feeling and every attitude should be available to His scrutiny. He already knows it all. Psalm 139. Before I became a Christian, this was an intimidating idea. I had a lot of things in my heart I did not want Him prying into. But as I grow older in the faith as a believer, this actually comforts me. He knows me completely, I am completely known. Nothing surprises Him. As I learn to yeild to the Spirit and to His work on me, the more intimacy with Him I experience, because God is kind and good, as well as holy. I do not need to be perfect for Him to abide in me and for me to abide in Him. I just need to want Him and to want to be like Him, no matter how long it takes Him to make that happen. Sometimes, it feels it isn't happening at all. Sometimes, I am surprised at what He's accomplished with so little.