“Follow your heart.” I seem to see this advice almost everywhere I turn-billboards, books, movies, celebrities…it’s even a brand name! But is this really good advice? To simply trust your heart in whatever you do?
This is a nice sentiment and all. It might even seem good on the surface. After all, how can your heart lead you astray? However, like anything we as Christians encounter, we need to measure it against what the Bible says.
So what does the Bible have to say on this matter?
Jeremiah 17:9, ESV- “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?”
Matthew 15:19, ESV- “For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander.”
These verses disprove the sentiment that you can simply follow your heart. Humans are not inherently good. In fact, humans are inherently evil and actually want nothing to do with good on their own. Instead of seeking to run toward God, we push farther and farther away from Him when we seek to satisfy ourselves with our own selfish desires.
When my sister asks me to play with her, the desire of my heart is sometimes to snap at her to go away and tell her that I want to do what I want. When everyone else is doing things that aren’t good or edifying, the desire of my heart is to do those things, too, even if it goes against what God wants for me. Are these desires of my heart good for me? Should I follow my heart?
No, because my heart is inherently bad. I’m not able to make good decisions on my own power, because my heart is corrupt. The desires of my heart are focused on me, what I want, and how I can make myself happy.
I’m sure that you have many different feelings running through you on a regular basis. I do. But just because you’re furious, does that mean that you should mouth off at your parents? When you think you’re in love, should you do inappropriate things when you’re unmarried? When someone hurts you, should you embrace the desire to have revenge?
If you’re a Christian, you know, again, that your sinful heart can’t be trusted and that the feelings that spring from it change constantly. Life is more than just blindly following your feelings and trusting that whatever your heart is telling you must be right.
But God is not.
Feelings shift and moods swing.
But God does not.
God is the only one who is completely perfect in every way. When we give our lives to him and ask Him to become Lord of our lives, he gives us the Holy Spirit to guide us and help shape us into the strong Christians He wants us to be.
We can’t trust our own, sinful hearts. But we can trust the Holy Spirit who is working in our hearts, helping us to become more like Jesus, as evidenced in Philippians 2:13: ““for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.”
Committing your life to Jesus is the great adventure of a lifetime- THE GREATEST adventure of your life!! Committing your heart to Him, surrendering it all to Him, is the best decision that you can ever make. Humbly coming to earth from the perfect paradise of heaven, Jesus came so that He could save us and so that we would be able to live life to the full. He is always working in his children, shaping us to be more like him and helping us to want to do what pleases him.
When you give your life to Jesus, He transforms your heart from a barren wasteland that doesn’t produce anything good into something beautiful from which His love can flow. Jesus said in John 7:38, ESV, “Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.'””
God is the giver of all good things. And when your heart is filled with His love, and you’re listening to the Holy Spirit’s guiding voice, you can live life to the full, trusting that God is in control, that He loves you and that He’ll use you for amazing things.
So when you want to give in to the temptations of your sinful heart, turn to Jesus instead. Trust Him with your heart, for He can help you to grow more and more holy as you continue to love and follow Him.