And the LORD says: “Because they have forsaken my law that I set before them, and have not obeyed my voice or walked in accord with it, but have stubbornly followed their own hearts and have gone after the Baals, as their fathers taught them,…” — Jeremiah 9:13-14
Here is some of the worst advice: “Just follow your heart.” I know that this is shared by so many people. When you just don’t know what to do, someone will say, “I trust you. Just follow your heart.” They are saying that they trust your gut – they trust the feelings that you have will be followed by good and wise decisions. However, is this what Scripture would teach?
I read the verse above and realized that God is not too fond of that advice Notice what John wrote in his gospel:
“Now when [Jesus] was in Jerusalem at the Passover Feast, many believed in his name when they saw the signs that he was doing. But Jesus on his part did not entrust himself to them, because he knew all people, and needed no one to bear witness about man, for he himself knew what was in man.” — John 2:23-25, ESV
Jesus said it himself:
“What comes out of a person is what defiles him. For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.” — Mark 7:20-23, ESV
So here is Jesus, unwilling to completely entrust himself to anyone because he knew what was in their hearts, and yet we so often tell each other to just “follow your heart.”
Here’s what I think should happen:
Listen to your heart but follow God’s voice and obey his commands. I do not think that we should live without ever paying attention to the desires that we have, but when those desires come up, we must weigh them against Scripture and obey God’s will rather than follow our desires, because the truth of the matter is that a large number of our desires having nothing to do with pleasing Jesus, but rather only desiring to please ourselves in ways that are not pleasing to Jesus.
So, DON’T FOLLOW YOUR HEART. Rather, follow God’s commands and trust his Spirit to lead and guide you into all that God has planned for you. God has invited us to listen to his voice and to obey what he says. He has called us to be obedient before we feel like we should be.