The heart is more deceitful than anything else and desperately sick—who can understand it?
-Jeremiah 17:9 (HCSB)
The human heart is often used as a metaphor for our personal will, and here we find the prophet Jeremiah making the same comparison. He examines the heart, and the prognosis is bad. So bad, he says, that no one can figure it out.
While Jeremiah’s assessment may seem overly pessimistic, it’s rooted in truth. God is simply making a clear warning… The heart lies. More than anything. So be careful.
The world is enamored with the idea of “following your heart,” and I’ve heard many well-intentioned people offer the same council to others. But is that really the best advice to give?
If I’m honest, I’m not really sure I want to follow my heart. My heart is often full of vile things like selfishness, pride, lust, and vengeance. If I did everything my heart wanted, I would be the most repulsive human alive!
The fact of the matter is that our sinfulness is, at its core, a heart condition. And that’s why it’s so critical that God promises us a heart transplant (Ezekiel 36:26). When our faith is placed in Jesus, the Spirit enters our bodies, changes our hearts, repositions our desires, and rewires our motives.
And that’s not to say that the longings of your old heart will never make an appearance from time to time. They most certainly will, because the Devil is good at his job. But the difference is that you are no longer following your heart; now you’re following Jesus.
So, follow your heart? Err… Maybe. Just make sure you know who is leading it.