Have you ever heard that expression or told that to someone else? We have all watched a movie in which the main character stumbles along making decisions that make us cringe. We know what the person needs to do - has to do - but somehow doesn’t do. Then, at some point in the movie when everything seems hopeless, someone trustworthy tells the main character to just follow his or her heart and then when he does do that, everything turns out in a way that makes us sigh and tell everyone what a great movie it was.

Is that the way life actually is? Would life be better and go more smoothly if we would just follow our heart when we face decisions? When I am trying to find truth, I want to go to the source of truth, something reliable that I know I can trust. When I teach kids about truth, I tell them that there is a measuring stick that we should use to measure everything else and that measuring stick is God’s Word, the Bible. What does the Bible say about us following our heart?

The first verse that comes to mind is one I memorized as a little child and is found in Jeremiah 17:9 “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” Could it be that I can’t really rely on my heart to lead me in the right direction? Is it possible that if I followed my heart in its natural condition that I might make a decision I could regret?

One of my favorite passages about our hearts is found in Ezekiel 36:25-27 “I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules.” This seems to also say that our hearts are not reliable. They are hard and don’t naturally lead us to do what is right. God wants to do heart surgery on us. He wants to remove that heart of stone that we have developed through hard times and bitterness. He wants to give us a new heart that listens to Him and is sensitive to what He wants for our lives. He wants us to accept the new life Jesus offers us because He died in our place. I John 1:9 says that if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. God wants

to do a work in our hearts, but that involves action on our part to choose to follow Him.

I John 3:20 confirms these truths about the heart . . . “By this we shall know that we are of the truth and reassure our heart before Him, for whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart and He knows everything.” Instead of following our hearts, we need to reassure our hearts of the greater truth that God is greater than our hearts. God is the One who created us and He knows everything about us. He is bigger than the shame and guilt in our hearts. He is the One who is waiting for us to come to Him for forgiveness, for guidance, for the grace that we need. He is the One who is able to take our messy lives and our hard hearts and forgive us and give us new soft hearts ready to follow Him.

Next time, instead of telling ourselves and others to just follow your heart, we need to instead follow God, who is much more capable of guiding us to the right decision than our heart could ever be.