Follow Your Heart?

People often say “follow your heart”, what exactly does this mean?

Following your heart seems to mean, do what feels right, but if your emotions are involved can you make a proper decision? Do you trust yourself to choose correctly when you are full of feelings that are not rational and sound? When you steal a candy bar at age 5 you are following your heart, right? At that moment, the desire of your heart is to have that candy bar. So, is following your heart a responsible move to make in larger decisions? Or any decisions.

Our hearts often long for things that are not good and acceptable for us. The Bible says, “whatsoever things are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, and of good report…think on these things” (Philippians 4:8).  It says THINK! With your head! It doesn’t say put it in your heart and see how it feels. Doing what’s right comes from knowing what’s right. Knowledge is in your head.

Truly, the question is whether it is best to follow your emotions or the law. Your heart is nothing but emotions. Your head is where you store knowledge of the rules God has given us to guide our lives. Your head is filled with the Word so that in times of trial or question you reach in and pull out God’s direction for that situation. Of course I know it’s not that simple, but it should be.

The thing that gets in the way of doing what is right is your heart.

That tugging, gnawing feeling that you get in your gut is your heart. It wants what feels best in the situation. It doesn’t want to hurt. It doesn’t want to struggle to make it to the next step. It wants the shortest distance to stopping any negative emotion. That’s the problem. What’s best for the moment, what feels good, is not what’s best in the long run.

When you let your heart take control you lead yourself down a path to destruction. I John 3:20 says “God is greater than our heart, and knows all things.” He is greater than our heart! Following your heart is taking the low road. It’s taking the coward’s way out. Following Him to the right decision is more difficult and may hurt, but in the end, it is what is right.

Your head is placed upon your shoulders, on top of your body. It is your leader. You choose directions in the desert based on what you see and hear. Your heart however, is a follower. It is right in the center of your being; it has no physical control over where you go or what you do.

A few more things to consider:

Jeremiah 17:9 says “the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?”

Matthew 15:19 says “for out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies…”

Which will you follow? If you decide now to follow your head, your leader, your God, it will be easier to make the right decision when you are faced with a challenge. You have to prepare yourself. You have to decide in advance that you will not be led by your heart, but by your God. If you have that mindset, you will not have to convince yourself of which way to go in the midst of a situation.


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