What’s the difference between your brain, mind, and heart? Dr. Timothy Jennings says that it’s easy to get these three aspects of our being mixed up with one another. To illustrate why it’s important to understand how these three aspects make up our being, he uses the analogy of a computer.

“In my view, the brain is analogous to the hardware of a computer. It’s the physical machine. It’s made up of the brain tissue and the neurons. It’s the part of our being you can touch if you open up your skull. The brain is wired for processing of data and information.”

If the brain is the hardware of a computer, Dr. Jennings says that the mind is analogous to the computer software.

“This is part of what makes your brain unique. You might have two computers with the same hardware, but if you look at the programming saved on the hard drive, the pictures and the files, that’s what makes each computer unique.”

What separates the heart from the brain and the mind?

“The heart is our core, unique individuality, our character, and our secret self where the motives, drives, fears, and longings originate. For instance, a person might know several different languages, but the language does not determine whether the person is fear-ridden or love-filled, honest or dishonest, loyal or disloyal, these elements are part of our character and identity.”

Dr. Jennings says it’s important to understand the difference between the brain, mind, and the heart because everything flows from our heart.

“From the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks. Are you selfish or are you loving? Are you deceitful and exploitative of others, or are you honest and a person of integrity? That’s what God really wants to renew. He wants to heal and renew us in the innermost being which is our core self, our identity, and our heart.”

Before God can heal and renew our mind and our brain, we must first allow Him to heal us in the innermost being of our heart.


Timothy R. Jennings, MD, is a board certified Christian psychiatrist, master psychopharmacologist, lecturer, international speaker and author. Dr. Jennings was voted one of America´s Top Psychiatrists by the Consumers’ Research Council of America in 2008, 2010 and 2011. He is a fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and president-elect of the Tennessee Psychiatric Association. He also serves on the board of the Southern Psychiatric Association and is in private practice in Tennessee.

Key Scripture: 1 Samuel 16:7

Featured Songs: Whole Heart – Brandon Heath; Safe in My Father’s Arms – Santus Real; For the One – Bethel Music

The God-shaped heart

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