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When You Should Not "Follow Your Heart"

God made us to be emotional beings. We experience millions of varying emotions over the course our lifetime from elation, to horror, admiration to disappointment, anger to joy.

If God designed us to express and experience emotion, it is no surprise then that for many of us, our emotions are critical in guiding and directing us.

Yet, as believers, should we always yield to our emotions?

Better yet, is it always safe and wise to follow our heart, wherever it may lead?

Because I can’t help but wonder, in all of the ways the Lord gave us to help guide us in making wise decisions-the counsel of others, the Bible, prayer, common sense, our intellect, and our heart-if following the latter is always the best choice.

Especially, when you consider the sort of shocking statement the Bible makes regarding the heart…“The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately sick. Who can understand it?” Jeremiah 17:9

“The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately sick. Who can understand it?” Jeremiah 17:9

I re-read this simple verse about 4 times and felt rather overcome with sadness at the obvious truth of it. I had a montage of images flash through my mind-images of reality television, human beings and their depraved behavior, the rapid decline of morality in this country.

Sorry if I sound a bit melodramatic, but this is what I thought about-the sickness of the heart.

Of all of the things the Bible could say about the heart, God’s Word does not pull any punches. It tells us that our heart is not to be trusted, and not only that, but it is not to be trusted because it is depraved and ill-broken and filled with a sinful nature.

Wow.

And yet so many of us have fallen for the lie that following our heart is necessary and even wise. Just like so many things I have written about before, the mantra “Follow your heart,” has become a sort of cultural bumper sticker applied to every kind of situation from choosing a career, to choosing an abortion, to choosing a divorce.

Just follow your heart.

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nicolecottrell@churchleaders.com'
Nicole Cottrell is trained in the fine art of button-pushing. She uses her skills daily on Modern Reject where she writes about the intersection of faith and culture as well as the unpopular stuff no one else likes to talk about. Nicole is a speaker, writer, discipler, and coffee fanatic. She and her husband planted the Foundation, a network of house churches in Arizona. Nicole lives in Scottsdale with her husband and two little munchkins, three of the coolest and funniest people she knows.