“Follow your heart.”

You just need to follow your heart” is the worst advice that anyone could ever tender to another. Countless lives have been ruined by people “following their heart.” Men have left their wives for their secretaries (excuse me, administrative assistants), others have abandoned their children, while some have abandoned the truth of the Gospel to chase after false teachers who have promised them what Francis Schaeffer considered the idol of our present age: “personal peace and affluence.”

Why is “following your own heart” such a bad idea? Because of what the prophet Jeremiah said some 2500 years ago, “The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9) Our hearts will lie to us. Our hearts will not allow us to think about the future consequences of our present actions. Our hearts will always convince us that we have a “good” reason to do a “sinful” thing. Our hearts will shout loud and long that we “deserve” happiness, contentment, peace, etc., while hiding the irreparable harm our self-centered actions might bring to others.

If following our heart is not the answer then to whom do we turn? I would offer the words of the Christ of the Scriptures as a consideration, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30) In resting in Christ one can find the forgiveness of not only our outward sins, but also our inward “heart sins” (remember, it is deceitful and desperately wicked), and His Word provides us with the guidance we need as we live out our lives to “glorify God and enjoy Him forever.” It is only by His grace that we can be victorious over our deceitful and desperately wicked hearts.

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2 Comments

  1. Branson said,

    January 24, 2011 at 5:03 PM

    I’m one of the guilty that used to say this all the time. It’s scary how easily we get brainwashed into letting our senses dictate our actions, and somehow trust that means we’ll always make the right decisions.

    • cliftonr said,

      January 24, 2011 at 5:12 PM

      How true, Branson! God has given us His Word to determine proper responses to life…and if it is not directly discussed in or can not be deduced from the teaching of Scripture, it falls within the area of Christian liberty.


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