The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked: who can know it? Jeremiah 17:9
“Just follow your heart.” “What does your heart tell you to do?” Phrases like these are often followed by a swelling orchestral strain and a pink sunset. They sound lovely and ever-so-wise, and we often treat them as though they had come down from Mt. Sinai with the Ten Commandments. In reality, such thinking is in direct conflict with biblical truth. Following your heart is often a sure path to disaster because our hearts are fickle, self-centered, and subject to changing on a whim. If you need convincing, consider your third grade crush, your idea of fun when you were single and drunk, or your feelings for your ex-spouse. Was your heart a reliable source for wisdom and direction back then? It hasn’t changed much.
The human heart is a complex and often baffling source of conflicting information that, if heeded, can get us into big trouble. The only hope for these sin-laden hearts is transformation by the Holy Spirit. This involves time, surrender, and painful pruning as He pries some deeply embedded fallacies from our lives. Even devoted followers of Jesus cannot trust their hearts until they are totally surrendered to the will of God. A selfish heart can take even a good desire and twist it into an idol. Wisdom begins when we recognize that our hearts are not always our friends, and therefore cannot be trusted to lead us in the right direction.
Are you following your heart? Is it leading you closer to the plan of God? If not, don’t listen to it.