You’re torn between two different opportunities; however, one of those opportunities may be more risky than the other. It may be quitting your job to start a business from scratch, not knowing how your business will turn out. It may mean deciding between the college that will leave you in the least amount of college debt, vs. the college that is nationally ranked for your major. Your heart may tell you to keep your job at work or go to the college that will leave you with the lowest debt possible; however, is that where you’re supposed to be?
Our family and friends will tell us to “follow our heart”. Following our heart has become a cultural-norm in our society because our society has instilled this idea that “our heart knows what is best for us”. In fact studies show that people are increasingly following their heart when it comes to their career (Pursue Your Passion TEDxBYU). However, this cultural-norm actually contradicts what the Bible says about the heart.
The Bible says:
“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:21)
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding.” (Proverbs 3:5)
“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” (Proverbs 4:23)
“My son, give me your heart and let your eyes delight in my ways.” (Proverbs 23:26)
“Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” (Psalm 51:10)
“Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” (Psalm 37:4)
“Test me, LORD, and try me, examine my heart and my mind.” (Psalm 26:2)
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.” (Matthew 5:8)
As a Christian, I have even struggled with the idea of following my heart. However, there were a few trends I noticed within these verses while preparing for this blog post. These verses speak on multiple different topics including:
- Guarding your heart
- Trusting the Lord with your heart
- Yearning and praying for a pure heart
- Storing your treasures in the right places so that your heart is pure
As believers in Christ, these verses should tell us something deeper about our heart that our society doesn’t focus on. In a society that is based on our feelings and our desires, Christians need to realize that there is a specific reason that God calls us to guard our hearts. The Bible answers that specific reason in Jeremiah 17:9.
The heart is deceitful above all else and is desperately sick; who can understand it? (Jeremiah 17:9)
We cannot understand our heart because we are sinful, but Jesus understands our hearts and that’s why he tells us to guard it. Our heart is deceitful because it is filled with all of the things we love and desire, which is why God tells us where our treasure is, our heart will be also. The heart wants what will make us feel good and what will bring us the most happiness. The problem is that our desires and our source of happiness will constantly change; however, giving our heart to Jesus will sustain us. Following our heart is the source to follow our desires and our felt needs, and it will ultimately lead us to sin. God warns us about this when he wrote,
“For from within, our of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immortality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within and they defile a person.” (Mark 7:21-23)
So is following your heart something that Jesus would preach? I don’t believe so. Our society has instilled this idea that our heart will “tell us what is best” when it comes to making decisions. Instead, use the gifts that God has placed in our lives, including the Bible and the Holy Spirit, to help us make decisions that honor and follow God’s will for us. Through the Holy Spirit we have the ability to pray for a renewed heart and that Jesus would place desires on our hearts that aligns with His will. The Bible will give us wisdom when it comes to making decisions.