Recently, I came across a post on Facebook, one of those memes from Word Porn (the name bugs me, but they’ve got some amazing motivational stuff posted daily, so whatevs). It was basically saying another version of “Follow Your Heart, it Knows” or something like that.
While that got me thinking a little, what really caught my attention was a guy’s comment. He said: “‘Listen to your heart, it knows.’ Hmm. I am reminded here of Jeremiah 17:9: ‘The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?’ So who’s right, the Native Americans or the ancient Israelites?”
This struck me as odd, because I do follow my heart, and I feel it’s right.
So of course, I went to Google, and searched through results for “following your heart and the bible.” Not so surprisingly, there are plenty of articles on this topic. Most say “don’t follow your heart” based on the same scripture passage above.
I challenged my own heart, and my spirit, with this view. I checked myself against it, and let myself digest it for a moment. Then I prayed about it, because the idea that following my heart is wrong, wasn’t sitting well with me. It felt twisted.
I’d like to share what I felt God explaining to me, when I asked Him about it.
True, our hearts themselves are easily manipulated, and dangerous to follow. So is our own mind. They are selfish, proud, vindictive, and all sorts of other nasty things – we’re human, that’s part of the messy package.
Thing is, when we accept Christ into our lives, He then (if you’re actually following Him) is the one leading our hearts. The Holy Spirit lives in us then, and is another voice to rival our human heart’s petty voice.
He gave me the image of something at it’s basic level – functional, but not reliable. You have to add things to it that are reliable – Jesus & The Holy Spirit – and put effort into it – learning to let Jesus lead your heart, instead of your heart leading you – in order for it to become something helpful.
Where I became so conflicted when I first looked into it today, was from the fact I don’t have a basic heart any more, and haven’t for most of my life. I’ve let Jesus lead my heart since I was 3, and I don’t remember what my heart’s basic voice is. It wouldn’t even feel like my heart, because it belongs so completely to the Lord.
So, for me, I do follow my heart. However, the base of that is, Jesus is the one leading my heart.
When I was 6, God gave me a vision that I’m like a blind child, and He is my seeing eye dog. If I rely on my own abilities, I will fall repeatedly, and fail in most things I try to do in life. With my seeing eye dog, however, I am safe. If I trust Him completely, and let Him lead me, I won’t fail, and He will catch me any time I trip.
God/Jesus/The Holy Spirit are the seeing eye dog to my heart. I see it as His, not mine. There is no part of it that’s only mine any more, so it seemed odd to me to hear people talk about it so negatively. My first thought was “Jesus lives there, how can it be so nasty?”
I do see my heart as a compass, but only because it’s led by God, and works by Jesus’s grace. I let Them influence it completely, and check everything I’m not sure about with The Holy Spirit guiding my own spirit.
Maybe this is the kind of journey the heart is meant to take. We can’t rely on anything about ourselves without God, including our hearts. That’s the whole point of a relationship with Him, and I think, the whole point of life. To build the strongest relationship possible, with our Father.
Everything should be focused on Him – our hearts, our minds, our desires, our goals, our passions, and our mistakes. When He is the center of our world, the deceit we find in the world stops poisoning us. He protects us from it, and the longer we have a healthy relationship with Him, the stronger that resistance becomes.
That’s what it means to me, anyway. I felt lead to write a post about it, and I’d love to hear what you think!