“Follow your heart.” This is the message of every Disney movie you’ve ever seen. The movies we watch, the tv shows we binge, the music we listen to — all of it proclaims this message: follow your heart and everything will be perfect. Your heart—which is good and reliable—knows what it wants and will take you where you need to go.
The problem is, though, that doesn’t square up in the slightest with the Bible. There are many well-meaning Christians who truly believe the Bible tells us to follow our hearts. However, when they look up the chapter and verse they never find it—because it’s not there. You see, Scripture doesn’t paint a pretty picture about man’s heart. But it’s honest and realistic.
It’s not the popular thing to go against the “follow your heart” message because it is supposed to make us feel good about ourselves. But it ultimately falls flat for many reasons. Let’s explore three of them.
Our heart is wicked. Why should I follow my heart when the Bible calls it wicked (Ps. 41:6)? Of course, this isn’t referring to our physical, beating heart. When the Bible mentions the heart in this way, it’s referring to our innermost affections, our will. And this is the same thing modern culture means. Follow your desires. Do what makes you happy.
But that simply doesn’t make sense in light of the biblical text. If my heart is wicked, then the last thing I ought to do is follow it. The last thing I should do is always follow my natural desires.
Our heart is deceitful. “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick” Jeremiah 17:9 explains, “who can understand it?” What does this mean? It means our feelings, desires, and affections lie to us. At the end of the day, we don’t have much reason to trust ourselves.
Following our heart is a fools errand that leads nowhere good. Following our heart is what brought the fall of man. Eve desired the fruit (Gen. 3:6) and decided to eat it, consequently rebelling against God in the process.
Nothing good happens when we follow our heart. Instead of following our heart, we need to follow Jesus. He’s trustworthy.
Our heart is fickle. Following our heart is terrible advice when we realize how much our desires change. We say, “The heart wants what it wants,” but we never even know what it wants. What we desire shifts on the daily. Instead of following our heart, we must follow God who is immutable.
To say we want to follow our hearts is simply another way of saying we want to do what we want. It’s selfishness. But we will never admit that. By not following our heart, we confess that we don’t have it all together, but God does. We know Jesus, our Rock, remains the same and we can always trust Him.
Trust Jesus, not your heart.
Enjoy my writing? You might like my book Gospel Smugness: Displaying Christlike Character in Evangelism.
2 Comments Add yours
Thank you for boldly preaching and teaching the truth!! you are a rare gem!! I’m going to be praying that everyone who reads this reads it in the spirit of truth, and also that a lot of people see it and that the eyes of their hearts are enlightened to the truth!
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