If being selfish brings so much trouble to everybody, including oneself, why be that way?
“Because, as the filmmaker Woody Allen said in 1993, trying to explain his controversial affair with the young daughter of Mia Farrow, ‘The heart wants what it wants.”
“Because the hearts wants what it wants. That’s as far as we get. That’s the conversation stopper.”
The imperial self overrules all.
“Inquiring into the causes of sin takes us back, again and again, to the intractable human will and to the heart’s desire that stiffens the will against all competing considerations. Like a neurotic and therapeutically shelf-worn little god, the human heart keeps ending discussions by insisting that it wants what it wants.”
“Our core problem is that the human heart, ignoring God, turns in on itself, tries to lift itself, wants to please itself, and ends up debasing itself. The person who reaches toward God and wants to please God gets, so to speak, stretched by this move, and ennobled by the transcendence of its object.”
“But the person who curves in on himself, who wants God’s gifts without God, who wants to satisfy the desires of a divided heart, ends up sagging and contracting into a little wad. His desires are provincial. There is something in humility which, strangely enough, exalts the heart, and something in pride which debases it” (see: Augustine, The City of God, 14.13.).
“Like Scripture writers, Augustine thinks of the heart not just as the seat of emotion or desire but also as the governing center of a human being — the human being at his center, at his core, considered in his fundamental orientation. From the heart “flow the springs of life” (Proverbs 4:23).
Hence, in Scripture, integrity is a pure heart (Matt. 5:8); where integrity is lacking, it is the heart that is “perverse” and “devious above all else” (Jeremiah 17:9).
“Accordingly, when Paul wants to describe the source of our new power, love , and integrity, he testifies that Jesus Christ has taken up residence at the governing center of human lives; he ‘dwells in our hearts’ (Ephesians 3:17). Depending on its orientation, then, the fact that ‘the heart wants what it wants’ may be our shame or our salvation.” (Cornelius Plantinga Jr., Not the Way It’s Supposed to Be).
Enter the words of Jesus
“The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart” (Luke 6:45).
The heart is a viewed as a storage bin out of which we do life.
Is it unexpected to hear so the wise father tells his son, “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life”? (Proverbs 4:23)