The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick. Who can understand it?” Jeremiah 17:9
I have been thinking about the heart today. The above verse keeps showing up in everything I have read today and even on a couple blogs I follow. It is like I cannot get away from it. And it bugs me. That is because I have had to learn the hard way just how true it is. And it seems like I have to keep learning the hard way. The heart cannot be trusted because it is filled with the disease of sin and even with years of walking with God I am still full of my own self and sin. My heart is broken and far from where God wished it to be when He created it. But so often we fall for the falsehood and subscribe to the lie to "follow" my own heart. This feel-good statement replaces the true wisdom that searching after God brings to my lifes many questions. From choosing a career to deciding whether to stay married far too often believers and unbelievers alike choose by their feelings instead of God's Word. We end up doing what we want to do in the short term and then suffer for it in the long term. When I want to sound righteous while I "follow" my own heart I can always say that it is "God" who is moving my heart or that I can trust my feeling because I have prayed and still "feel" this way. But when I follow my heart...when I go by how I "feel"...I become self-absorbed, shallow, fearful, vain, and I make really bad decisions. And I wallow. Because I am all about me and not about anyone else. But I need to fight against self. Because my Jesus went to the cross and not to the spa. He did not spend His days or emotions on Himself but upon others. He did not dwell upon being offended but showered upon us His grace and mercy. And He ALWAYS did the will of His Father in heaven and did not yield to His humanity with its feelings. Whenever I have followed my heart I have ended up bruised and crushed. I have felt the pain of offense and the sting of my sinful nature. When I have followed God I am bruised and crushed as well, but it is a bruising and crushing that bears fruit instead of death. It is a bruising and crushing that comes from putting to death the flesh. And it is a crushing that comes with peace. We have not been called to follow the lie of our hearts or the whims of our emotions. We have been called to follow Jesus.