I realized we can not always follow our hearts from an advice I gave to a friend — “follow your heart and I’m sure everything will be alright” only for her to end up brokenhearted. Well isn’t it the same “follow your heart” everyone believes in? How come my advise left her hurt instead of bringing her happiness. Out of curiosity I went back to the Bible for answers. I hope this blesses you as it did me.
When it comes to our hearts, there are two feelings we can experience after we’ve sinned. One is conviction and the other is condemnation. Conviction is from the Holy Spirit, prompting us to confess and be restored to fellowship so God can continue to bless us and work through us. Its purpose is to draw us closer to God. Condemnation is from Satan, trying to convince us that we’re no good, and that God will never forgive us. It’s aim is to keep us away from God by making us feel guilty.
“As soon as we confess our sins, we’re forgiven and the sin is forgotten as God immediately purifies us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9). Any bad feelings we have after that are feelings of guilt that come from Satan.
“So if you’re being drawn closer to God, you’re feeling the conviction of the Holy Spirit. But if you feel like hiding from God and begin to doubt His love for you, you’re feeling condemnation from the devil. Rebuke those feelings in the name of Jesus. Resist the devil and he’ll flee from you” (James 4:7-10).
Essentially, it’s a belief that your heart is “a compass inside of you that will direct you to your own true north if you just have the courage to follow it“. It says that your heart is a true guide that will lead you to true happiness if you just have the courage to listen to it. This notion can sound so simple and beautiful and liberating. For broken people it’s a tempting gospel to believe.
Until you consider that your heart has “sociopath” tendencies. Think about it for a moment. What does your heart tell you? Please don’t answer.
Your heart has likely said things in the past — even today — that you would wish not to repeat. I know mine has. My heart tells me that all of reality ought to serve my desires. My heart likes to think if others happen to think well of me; then they are nice people. But if they don’t think well of me, or even if they just disagree with me, well then, something is wrong with them. And while my heart is pondering my virtues and others’ errors, it can suddenly find some immoral or horribly angry thoughts very attractive.
“No, our hearts will not save us. We need to be saved from our hearts.”
“Follow your heart” certainly isn’t found in the Bible. The Bible actually thinks our hearts have a disease: “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17:9). Jesus, the Great Physician, lists the symptoms of this disease: “out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander” (Matthew 15:19). Well, obviously not leadership material.
Truth is, no one lies to us more than our hearts. No one. They don’t tell us the truth; they just tell us what we want. If our hearts are guides, then they are misleading, not considerate; they are selfish. In fact, if we do what our hearts tell us to do, we will pervert and covert every desire, every beauty, every person, every wonder, and joy. Our hearts want to consume these things for our own self-glory and self-indulgence.
Who then should we follow if our hearts are not right?
Our hearts were never designed to be followed, but to be led. Our hearts were never designed to be gods in whom we believe; they were designed to believe in God. If we make our hearts gods and ask them to lead us, they will lead us to narcissistic misery and ultimately damnation. They cannot save us, because what’s wrong with our hearts is the heart of our problem. But if our hearts believe in God, as they are designed to, then God saves us (Hebrews 7:25) and leads our hearts to exceeding joy (Psalm 43:4).
Therefore, don’t believe in your heart; direct your heart to believe in God. Note that Jesus did not say to His disciples, “Let not your hearts be troubled, just believe in your hearts.” He said, “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me” (John 14:1).
So, though your heart will try to shepherd you today, do not follow it. It is not a shepherd. It is a pompous sheep that, due to remaining sin, has some wolf-like qualities. Don’t follow it, and be careful even listening to it. Remember, your heart only tells you what you want, not where you should go. So, only listen to it to note what it’s telling you about what you want, and then take your wants, both good and evil, to Jesus as requests and confessions.
Dear Jesus, thank You for Your unending mercies towards me every now and then. Your word makes me understand that my heart is sick and I must admit mine has all the symptoms of a sick one. I humbly ask that You step in as the Greatest physician and heal my heart, Help me to always remember that You are my shepherd, Cover me with the gift of Your wisdom. Amen
“God can do anything but fail, so don’t follow your heart; follow Jesus.”