I have a Facebook account and find that my “Wall” (where my friends write their thoughts and messages), gives me a wealth of funny, absurd, even thought-provoking material for my blog. Just the other day I saw someone comment to another FBF, “Just follow your heart.” And it was as if I could hear the angels above singing a chorus as those words floated out into cyberspace.
Our society seems to love that phrase. It’s rather romantic, is Oprahesque (yes, there really is such a term in the Urban Dictionary), and most of all, sounds affirming. But is it really true?
In this post and in random future posts, I will be addressing certain goofy cultural or Christian beliefs that we tend to swallow, like a doomed fish—hook, line and sinker.
Here’s what I think:
Even if I don’t consider what the Bible has to say (which I will consider in a minute), the idea that we should follow our heart doesn’t make much sense. If I followed my heart there would be many things I would just be giving myself permission to do that would be irresponsible and self-indulgent.
Don’t get me wrong, I often wish that I could just rely on my heart. There are things in my life right now that I am struggling terribly with and if I followed my heart, I know I would be making some big mistakes. Here’s some examples of what listening to my heart might cause me to do:
- Yell at the cashier who was just rude to me in the check-out lane.
- Throw in the towel when my marriage hits a rough patch.
- Buy that expensive pair of shoes I love, even though I really can’t afford them.
- Only do what I want without consideration for other people’s hearts.
Do you see where I’m going?
Here’s what the Bible has to say about the heart:
“The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” Jeremiah 17:9-10 (NIV)
If that’s true (and I believe it is), then following my heart can be one of the most ridiculous things I would ever want to do!
Here’s what I believe the Bible does not say . . . that our hearts are worthless. If that were true, Christ would not have died to rescue our hearts. The bottom line is that we don’t have the ability, in and of ourselves, to know if what we feel is true or a lie. Thankfully, God can help us if we will let him.
So if there was ever a statement I would like to strike, it is follow your heart, and instead I would like to say, follow God who knows your heart.
“Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” Psalm 139:23-24 (NIV)
Today’s post is linked to Tuesdays Unwrapped at Chattingatthesky blog