Is it Right to Follow Your Heart?


Recently, I read a new fiction book. The book was okay, I suppose, but aside from the many minor issues I had with it I really disagreed with the underlying message of this story: Listen to your heart, because it is the only thing you can trust now.

I have seen this message in plenty of popular movies and songs (Disney, anyone?) and it seems that most people believe it. I can understand why. This belief seems harmless and is most appealing. After all, if you only have to do is look inside yourself and see what you want to do in order to justify any action, who wouldn’t want to believe that? 🙂

Is this actually a good and true belief, though? Is this what God tells us? I do not believe so. As Jeremiah 17:9-10 and Matthew 15:18-19 say:

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?

But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies.

The Bible calls the heart of a human evil, deceitful, and incomprehensible. Is this really what we should be trusting?

Let me tell you a story about one of my favorite people from the Bible. David was the second king of Israel, and he was probably one of the best. He was in fact called “a man after God’s own heart.” One day, David saw a beautiful woman from the top of his palace. After inquiring after her, he found out that she was married to one of his soldier friends, Uriah. David, being overcome with love for this beautiful woman, Bathsheba, ordered his generals to have Uriah abandoned in a battle so that he would die and David could marry her. His plan worked, and Bathsheba became David’s wife.

Afterwards, God sent a prophet to confront David about what he had done. David of course felt remorse after the prophet had told him that what he had done had displeased God. but he was punished for what he had done by his and Bathsheba’s son, who was still only a baby at the time, dying. (2 Samuel 11-12)

Now, there are several things that I notice about this story, but one of the main ones that I notice is that David never once asked God about what he should do. He already had several wives, but he fell in love with another man’s wife. This is obviously a problem, and he probably should have at least prayed for guidance. Instead of praying, though, he did what he wanted to do- what his heart told him to do– and all that he did only brought him (not to mention Uriah and Bathsheba) grief.

I can give you plenty of other examples of how following the heart leads to hurt and destruction, but I think you understand. The point is that the Bible clearly warns us against following something so changing and distrustful as the human heart.

What should we trust then, if our hearts will lead us astray? If we cannot trust our own feelings, what, or whom, is it that we should listen to?  The only thing (and you have probably figured this out already) that we can trust is God, and through Him, His word to make decisions. Rely on God for guidance, through prayer, and please do not make the mistake of leaning on your own heart!

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