“Listen to your heart.” “Follow your feelings.” “Trust your gut.”
But, the Bible says, “The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9).
That’s right! The heart lies. It lies better than it does anything else.
It is not just wicked. It is desperately wicked. It is as evil as it can be.
You cannot really know what is going on in your heart. It may lead you, unknowingly, to your own destruction, as Proverbs 14:12 warns, “There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.”
So, what do we do?
We turn our hearts over to the only One who truly knows our hearts. “I, the LORD, search the heart, I test the mind, Even to give every man according to his ways, According to the fruit of his doings” (Jeremiah 17:10).
God gives us this wise advice concerning the heart: “Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life” (Proverbs 4:23). We must make every effort to guard our hearts because the heart will determine what we do and who we are. Jesus said, “But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies” (Matthew 15:18-19).
The apostle Paul tells what kind of thoughts ought to fill our hearts: “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy--meditate on these things” (Philippians 4:8).
Let me encourage you to learn these two prayers that God gives us to help our hearts:
First, because of our sinfulness we need to be careful to pray: “Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me” (Psalms 51:10).
Second, invite God into your heart everyday with this prayer: “Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me, and know my anxieties; And see if there is any wicked way in me, And lead me in the way everlasting” (Psalms 139:23-24).
Trust God, not your heart.
Robert Dodson is the Preaching Minister for the Northwest Church of Christ.
6059 Azle Avenue
Fort Worth, TX 76135