A saying that I’ve often heard is “Follow your heart!”. Though this saying sounds like the right thing, it is a little misleading. Our hearts are not always to be trusted. They will often pull us in any and every direction that our desires go. That is, if our heart is not lead by Christ.
Not too long ago, I read this great article on this subject, and I feel compelled to share it with you all now. This article is from the appendix of the book, The Love Dare, written by Stephen & Alex Kendrick. For more info on the book, click here or on the title of the book above.
(Note: this article is not meant to condemn, it is meant to show our need for Jesus in our lives. HE is the good in us. So when reading this, try to keep that in mind)
The following is from the appendix of “the Love Dare”, Written by Stephen & Alex Kendrick. It is titled “Leading Your Heart”.
LEADING YOUR HEART
What’s Wrong with Following My Heart?
It’s Foolish. The world says “Follow your heart!” This is the philosophy of new age gurus, self-help seminars, and romantic pop songs. Because it sounds romantic and noble, it sells millions of records and books. The problem is that following your heart usually means chasing after whatever feels right at the moment whether or not it actually is right. It means throwing caution and conscience to the wind and pursuing your latest whims and desires regardless of what good logic and counsel are saying. The Bible says, “He who trusts in his own heart is a fool, but he who walks wisely will be delivered” (Proverbs 28:26).
It’s Unreliable. People forget that feelings and emotions are shallow, fickle, and unreliable. They can fluctuate depending upon circumstances. In an effort to follow their hearts, people have abandoned their jobs to reignite a lousy garage band, lost their life savings following a whim on a horse race, or left their lifelong mate in order to chase an attractive coworker who’s been married twice already. What feels right in the height of sweet emotion often feels like a sour mistake a few years later. This selfish philosophy is also the source of countless divorces. It leads many to excuse themselves from their lifelong commitments because they no longer “feel in love.”
It’s Corrupt. The truth is, our hearts are basically selfish and sinful. The bible says, “The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17:9). Jesus said, “Out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders” (Matthew 15:19). Unless our hearts are genuinely changed by God, they will continue to choose wrong things.
Should I Ever Follow My Heart?
King Solomon said, “A wise man’s heart directs him toward the right, but the foolish man’s heart directs him toward the left.” (Ecclesiates 10:2). Just as your heart can direct you toward hatred, lust, and violence, it can also be driven by love, truth, and kindness. As you walk with God, He will put dreams in your heart that He wants to fulfill in your life. He will also put skills and abilities in your heart that He wants to develop for His glory (Exodus 35:30-35). He will give you the desire to give (2 Corinthians 9:7) and worship (Ephesians 5:19). As you put God first, He will step in and fulfill the good desires of your heart. The Bible says, “Delight yourself in the Lord; and He will give you the desires of your heart” (Psalm 37:4). But the only time you can feel good about following your heart is when you know your heart is intent on serving and pleasing God.
Why Is Following My Heart Not Enough?
Because our hearts are so subject to change and so utterly untrustworthy, the Scriptures communicate a much stronger message than “follow your heart.” The Bible instructs you to lead your heart. This means to take full responsibility for its condition and direction. Realize that you do have control over where your heart is. You have been given power by God to take your heart off one thing and to set it on something else. The following verses communicate a message of leading your heart:
Proverbs 23:17 “Do not let your heart envy sinners.”
Proverbs 23:19 “Direct your heart in the way.”
Proverbs 23:26 “Give me your heart, my son, and let your eyes delight in my ways.”
1 Kings 8:61 “Let your heart therefore be wholly devoted to the Lord our God.”
John 14:27 “Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.”
James 4:8 “Purify your hearts.”
James 5:8 “Strengthen your hearts.”
How Do I Lead My Heart?
First, you need to understand that your heart follows your investment. Whatever you pour your time, money, and energy into will draw your heart.
Check your heart. One of the keys to successfully leading your heart is to constantly be aware of where it is. Do you know what has your heart right now? You can tell by looking at where your time has gone in the past month, where your money has gone, and what you keep talking about.
Guard your heart. When something unhealthy tempts your heart, it is your responsibility to guard it against temptation. The Bible says, “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life” (Proverbs 4:23 NIV). Don’t let your heart put money or your work above God and your family. Don’t let your heart lust after the beauty of a woman/man (Proverbs 6:25). The Bible says, “If riches increase, do not set your heart on them” (Psalms 62:10 NKJV).
Set your heart. The apostle Paul taught, “Set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God” (Colossians 3:1 NIV). It’s time to identify where your heart needs to be and then choose to set your heart on those things. You say, “But I don’t really want to invest in the right areas. I’d rather be doing this or that.” I know. You’ve set your heart on that in the past and you are stuck in a “follow your heart” mentality. But you don’t have to let your feelings lead you anymore. Lust is when you set your heart on something that is wrong and forbidden. You can choose to take your heart off the wrong things and set your heart on what is right.
Invest in your heart. Do not wait until you feel like doing the right thing.
If you liked this and would like to gain further from the Kendrick’s, pick up the devotional titled “the Love Dare” at your closest Bible book store.
Here are some scriptures that support what was stated above
“Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life” –Proverbs 4:23 NIV
“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” —Matthew 6:21 NIV
“Set your heart on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God” –Colossians 3:1 NIV
“Do not be misled: ‘Bad company corrupts good character.’” –1 Corinthians 15:33 NIV
“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is –his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
–Romans 12:2 NIV
So simply, when we have our heart set on God, that is the time we can feel safe to follow it. So pursue God, leave the direction of your life up to Him, and He will be fully sufficient in providing all of your needs.
In God’s Love and Grace,
Want to get saved , rid of addiction to porn, want to live right , pray for me .
God bless and continue to spread the living Word of God 🙂
“Guard your heart with all vigilance for all life issues forth from it.” Francisco De Osuna
Really good article. This is something I’ve been wrestling with a lot in the last few weeks and months. I think it speaks to the necessity of having a strong mind. The heart is but flesh, not to be trusted or followed. Paul wrote to be transformed by the renewing of the mind because he understood that we need to lead ourselves by our minds. Minds armed with faith and then knowledge.
“the mind is a garden, thoughts are the seeds. You can plant flowers, or you can plant weeds.”
Keep up the good work for God, brother. 🙂
The whole point to this article is not to say “never listen to your heart”, but to say not to depend on it. Though most of the references used in the article were not from Jesus himself, click here for a search I did for every time “Heart” is mentioned in the Gospels, and most, if not all, talk about the dangers of the heart…and many of these are from Jesus himself.
This is something Jesus had to say about the heart in Matthew 15:18-19: But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these make a man ‘unclean.’ For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander.
So this being said, it is clear that simply “following our hearts” is not what Jesus wants us to do…We need to line our hearts up with Jesus, and follow Him.
These are powerful arguments but I live by the few words spoken by Jesus himself. He said there are too many words. The law (the way to live) is in your heart. Later he said to look for the truth in your heart and the truth will set you free.
I believe our mind is primarily set up to be self oriented for function and survival reasons and interacts with the heart which is selfless oriented toward social interests and the interests of others. It also interacts with the spirit which the mind cannot do. That interaction of heart and spirit is where the heart finds the truth.
That is awesome! It definitely is a great book! Some of the dares are tough, but just push through them! 🙂
God bless you David,
This is so true! I have bought the book and will study it to save my heart thru Jesus Christ. Here is where the real battle is to be fought. I thank God for his Son for he gave his life for US. May God Bless You and I hope this reaches people all over the World. David