11 March 2015

Heart to Heart

"Follow your heart" is a phrase that we hear regularly proclaimed in our popular culture. It’s a belief that your own heart (that is, your inner self, your feelings, your emotions) will be a reliable compass that will direct you to your own true "north" - if you only possess the courage to follow it.

It's a simple phrase, and many find it liberating.

But is it true? Isn't your heart simply telling you what you want to hear?

I did some reading this week to see what scripture says on the subject. Here's a selection of verses (all readings NIV):

Jeremiah 17:9 - "The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?"

Proverbs 28:26 - "Those who trust in themselves are fools, but those who walk in wisdom are kept safe."

Matthew 15:19 - "For out of the heart come evil thoughts—murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander."

There are a whole lot of other examples, however the gist of this is to underline that our hearts were never meant to be followed. If you follow your own guidance, you're bound to end up in the wrong place.

Understandably, we are told not to believe our hearts; instead, to direct our hearts to believe in God. Simply put - Don’t follow your heart; follow Jesus. 

Now, as a person who possesses quite deep feelings, it's tough - input comes at you all the time. On busy days it can get overwhelming. So, it's nice to know your heart does have an important part to play in the proceedings.
  • It makes it quite clear what you want. Your inner self, your emotions. Are you feeling angry? Your heart is telling you something is wrong. However, that's not enough. It also needs your head (your reason) to analyse this input, and then wisdom to decide how to act... and I have always found God's teachings to be sound. Check them out - before you act rashly... James 3:17 - "But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere."
  • Repentance needs to come from the heart... and is always accompanied by a change of behaviour. True repentance says and means, “If I had this to do over again, I would do it differently.”
  • Belief comes from the heart. Romans 10:9-11 states If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. As Scripture says, “Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.”
  • Obedience comes from the heart. Jesus said, "If you love me, keep my commands." (John 14:15). 
Can you do that today?

Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV)
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 
in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Colin,

I think many people confuse the 'Heart' with the 'Head'. And we can certainly be easily persuaded by either organ!

Surely though, we ought to THINK with one, FEEL with the other and THEN act accordingly?

Good Wishes,

The Artful Dodger.