Every once in a while I stumble across a verse in scripture that blows my mind. Yesterday, I had one of those mind blowing experiences.
How often have you heard a well-meaning parent, teacher, coach, mentor, or even a counselor offer the soundest of wisdom by saying, "Just follow your heart." Yep, me too. Billions of times, right? Following our hearts seems to be the answer to every dilemma if you watch afternoon TV, see a chick-click, or hear a commencement address. Read this verse that God lead me to this week while studying for my ladies bible class...
"The heart is deceitful above all things,
and desperately sick; who can understand it?
I the LORD search the heart and test the mind,
to give every man according to his ways,
according to the fruit of his deed." ~Jeremiah 17:9-10
Whoa whoa whoa! So all those "wise" words from "wise" folks about following your heart to be truly happy...nonsense, complete and utter nonsense. According to Jeremiah our hearts can lead us astray. Our hearts can be desperately sick. Our feelings can lead us down a path that is not only unhealthy, but is wrought with sin which inevitably leads to death.
This verse explains that God searches the heart and tests the mind to reveal the fruit of the deeds of man. Now tell me, if we follow our hearts straight into disobedience, what is the fruit of those disobedient acts?
Think about it. How many folks do you know who "follow their hearts" right out of their marriage vows? Or "follow their hearts" into some pretty sticky, if not horrible, consequences? I know plenty. I'm certain you do too.
I think this "follow your heart" regime all goes back to one of the biggest lies satan ever told, which is God only desires our happiness and the filling of our stomachs with the simple bite of a delicious fruit. I'm sorry to disappoint everyone out in internet land, but I don't buy that. Our all-powerful creator, God, calls us to obedience. Frankly, obedience sometimes really stinks. If you don't believe me, ask my three-year-old cookie eating machine. In the end though, I know what is best for my son, and God knows what is best for us even if we are not happy following His will at the time.
From here on I think I'll be even more careful of my feelings. Feelings, although relevant, do not always speak truth. Feelings can mislead and manipulate. From here on I'll listen to the brain God gave me and pray for wisdom to discern my steps. From here on I'm going to run in the opposite direction if my heart attempts to lead me astray. I hope you do, too.