“Just follow your heart!” – good advice?
It’s important to look after your heart because all of life flows from it. You say what you say because of what’s in your heart, you do what you do because of what’s in your heart and your heart is usually what drives your decision making. If your heart isn’t in the right place and it isn’t open to the influence and leading of the Holy Spirit and God’s Word, then you’re headed for trouble.
“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?”
Jeremiah 17:9 KJV
You can’t always trust your heart. Many people advise others saying, “Just follow your heart.” You cannot find that advice in the Bible. You need to follow God’s Word and the Holy Spirit even if you don’t want to and especially when you don’t feel like it. In your head, you may know that God’s Word says something but because of your wrong focus what you feel in your heart might be something completely opposite. Your heart can lie to you and lead you into deception, but God’s Word will always lead you in the right (and best) direction! We have to train our hearts to know and follow God’s Word. The more we think like God the more our hearts will desire what He desires, and then we can follow our hearts and God will lead us through our desires, but it’s a process to get there. If you want to get there then it starts with changing your thinking (to start thinking according to God’s Word) and choosing to focus on God and His Word. That starts the process of mind renewal which will bring transformation in your heart and this leads to godly decisions and actions (Romans 12:2).
A couple of years back my focus was wrong. I was focused on a lot of negative things and it resulted in negative emotions. I even got depressed as I marinated in self-pity, self-centredness and a mixture of ungodly thoughts. Soon enough I was so down in the dumps that I started considering suicide. In my heart, it felt right but I knew better – I knew that this wasn’t a godly thought; it was demonic. So I chose to reject the feelings. I felt like killing myself but I didn’t because I knew it was wrong. You can’t always follow your heart, especially if it’s full of the wrong stuff. You need to follow God’s Word even if you don’t feel like it. It’s always the right time to do the right thing.
Don’t follow your emotions, lead them. You are not a victim of your emotions – your emotions are the natural result of your focus and thinking. You lead your emotions (whether you realize it or not) through your focus and thought life, and so choose to lead them in the right direction by knowing the truth, focusing on the truth and choosing to follow the path of truth. Change your focus and renew your mind, and your emotions and actions will start to be transformed (changed).
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