In our super saturated feelings based society, it is often stated by many people that we should follow our heart. Those that make this statement often are making a reference to the idea of ignoring conventional wisdom and doing what we really want or feel is the right thing to do in our heart. The question we must ask is, should we trust our heart?
The Bible has many things to say about trusting our heart. Romans 10:9-10 tells us that the heart is where we believe the truth of Jesus Christ; that he was crucified, died, was buried, and that God raised Him from the dead on the third day. In believing this, we are saved.
(Romans 10:9-10 KJV) “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. (10) For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”
When we believe the truth of salvation, God writes His law on our hearts (2 Corinthians 3:1-3; Psalms 33:20-21). When the law is written on our hearts, it motivates and inspires us to obey and submit to those in authority and to do the will of God (Ephesians 6:5-7; 2 Timothy 2:22).
Likewise, when our heart is not filled with God’s Holy Spirit, it is left to its own motivations (Psalms 14:1; Psalms 53:1). When the motivations of our heart are not based on righteousness, God will not listen to our prayers (Psalms 66:18; Proverbs 28:9).
In order to trust our heart, we have to know if our heart can deceive us. The following verses answer this question:
(Proverbs 12:20 KJV) “Deceit is in the heart of them that imagine evil: but to the counsellors of peace is joy.”
(Jeremiah 17:9 KJV) “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?“
(Jeremiah 23:26 KJV) “How long shall this be in the heart of the prophets that prophesy lies? yea, they are prophets of the deceit of their own heart;”
(Jeremiah 49:16 KJV) “Thy terribleness hath deceived thee, and the pride of thine heart, O thou that dwellest in the clefts of the rock, that holdest the height of the hill: though thou shouldest make thy nest as high as the eagle, I will bring thee down from thence, saith the LORD.”
(Obadiah 1:3 KJV) “The pride of thine heart hath deceived thee, thou that dwellest in the clefts of the rock, whose habitation is high; that saith in his heart, Who shall bring me down to the ground?”
(James 1:26 KJV) “If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain.”
There are certainly many verses that tell us that our heart can deceive us, but one question that almost everyone can ask to let them know if they have ever been deceived by their heart is this: Have you ever cried when watching a movie? If so, think about it. It is a movie, it is not real. You, like everyone else, have been deceived by your heart.
So, the answer is yes, our hearts can deceive us. Instead, to avoid being deceived we must put our trust in God’s Word: (Proverbs 30:5-6 KJV) “Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. (6) Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.”
Finally, by trusting in God’s Word, we can be sure that God has given us a reliable source of wisdom that will provide everything we need in life (2 Timothy 3:16-17). Likewise, if we trust God, He will give us the desires of our heart (Psalms 37:4), but in doing so, we must also consider that when we seek God, our hearts will be transformed to desiring to do God’s will (Romans 12:2). If we do not use God’s Word in our decision making our hearts can deceive us and our heart can lead us into trouble (Proverbs 21:2-4).
So, should we trust our heart? The answer according to God’s Word is no (Jeremiah 17:9).