Why Is Following My Heart Not Enough?
LEADING YOUR HEART
What Is The Heart?
Your Identity. Your heart is the most important part of who you are. It is the center of your being, where the “real you” resides. “The heart of man reflects man” (Proverbs 27:19). As a person “thinks in his heart, so is he” (Proverbs 23:7).
Your Center. Since your physical heart is in the center of your body and sends life-giving blood out to every living cell, the word “heart” has been used for centuries to describe the core starting place of all your thoughts, beliefs, values, motives, and convictions.
Your Headquarters. Your heart is the Pentagon of your operations. As a result, every area of your life is impacted by the direction of your heart.
What’s Wrong with Following My Heart?
The world says “Follow your heart!” This is the philosophy of new age gurus, self-help seminars, and romantic pop songs. Because it sounds romantic and noble, it sells millions of records and books. The problem is that following your heart usually means chasing after whatever feels right at the moment whether or not it actually is right. It means throwing caution and conscience to the wind and pursuing your latest whims and desires regardless of what good logic and counsel are saying. The Bible says, “He who trusts in his own heart is a fool, but he who walks wisely will be delivered” (Proverbs 28:26).
People forget that feelings and emotions are shallow, fickle, and unreliable. They can fluctuate depending upon circumstances. In an effort to follow their hearts, people have abandoned their jobs to reignite a lousy garage band, lost their life savings following a whim on a horse race, or left their lifelong mate in order to chase an attractive coworker who’s been married twice already. What feels right in the height of sweet emotion often feels like a sour mistake a few years later. This selfish philosophy is also the source of countless divorces. It leads many to excuse themselves from their lifelong commitments because they no longer “feel in love.”
The truth is, our hearts are basically selfish and sinful. The bible says, “The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17:9). Jesus said, “Out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders” (Matthew 15:19). Unless our hearts are genuinely changed by God, they will continue to choose wrong things.
Should I Ever Follow My Heart?
King Solomon said, “A wise man’s heart directs him toward the right, but the foolish man’s heart directs him toward the left.” (Ecclesiates 10:2). Just as your heart can direct you toward hatred, lust, and violence, it can also be driven by love, truth, and kindness. As you walk with God, He will put dreams in your heart that He wants to fulfill in your life. He will also put skills and abilities in your heart that He wants to develop for His glory (Exodus 35:30-35). He will give you the desire to give (2 Corinthians 9:7) and worship (Ephesians 5:19). As you put God first, He will step in and fulfill the good desires of your heart. The Bible says, “Delight yourself in the Lord; and He will give you the desires of your heart” (Psalm 37:4). But the only time you can feel good about following your heart is when you know your heart is intent on serving and pleasing God.
Why Is Following My Heart Not Enough?
Because our hearts are so subject to change and so utterly untrustworthy, the Scriptures communicate a much stronger message than “follow your heart.” The Bible instructs you to lead your heart. This means to take full responsibility for its condition and direction. Realize that you do have control over where your heart is. You have been given power by God to take your heart off one thing and to set it on something else. The following verses communicate a message of leading your heart:
Proverbs 23:17 “Do not let your heart envy sinners.”
Proverbs 23:19 “Direct your heart in the way.”
Proverbs 23:26 “Give me your heart, my son, and let your eyes delight in my ways.”
1 Kings 8:61 “Let your heart therefore be wholly devoted to the Lord our God.”
John 14:27 “Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.”
James 4:8 “Purify your hearts.”
James 5:8 “Strengthen your hearts.”
How Do I Lead My Heart?
First, you need to understand that your heart follows your investment. Whatever you pour your time, money, and energy into will draw your heart.
Check your heart.
One of the keys to successfully leading your heart is to constantly be aware of where it is. Do you know what has your heart right now? You can tell by looking at where your time has gone in the past month, where your money has gone, and what you keep talking about.
Guard your heart.
When something unhealthy tempts your heart, it is your responsibility to guard it against temptation. The Bible says, “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life” (Proverbs 4:23 NIV). Don’t let your heart put money or your work above God and your family. Don’t let your heart lust after the beauty of a woman/man (Proverbs 6:25). The Bible says, “If riches increase, do not set your heart on them” (Psalms 62:10 NKJV).
Set your heart.
The apostle Paul taught, “Set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God” (Colossians 3:1 NIV). It’s time to identify where your heart needs to be and then choose to set your heart on those things. You say, “But I don’t really want to invest in the right areas. I’d rather be doing this or that.” I know. You’ve set your heart on that in the past and you are stuck in a “follow your heart” mentality. But you don’t have to let your feelings lead you anymore. Lust is when you set your heart on something that is wrong and forbidden. You can choose to take your heart off the wrong things and set your heart on what is right.
Invest your heart.
Don’t wait until you feel like doing the right thing. Don’t wait until you feel in love with your spouse to invest in your relationship. Start pouring into your marriage and investing where your heart is supposed to be. Spend time with your spouse. Buy gifts. Write letters. Go on dates. The more you invest, the more your heart will value your relationship.
Source: The Love Dare (Steven & Alex Kendrick)
“When the best leader’s work is done the people say, “We did it ourselves.”Lao Tzu
“Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.”Berthold Auerbach
“Words mean more than what is set down on paper. It takes the human voice to infuse them with shades of deeper meaning.”Maya Angelou
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