“The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” Jeremiah 17:9 NIV
“Come, follow me.” Mark 1:17 NIV
“Follow your heart.” This phrase has become a life slogan for many modern Americans. I heard it often as a teenager in the 1970s. Many young people were finding fuel for their internal fires from this mantra. And many adults were trying desperately to cling to their adolescence by adopting its dictates.
Follow your heart is an old slogan that predates the 60s and 70s in America. It predates its European expression in the Romantic movements of the 18 and 19th centuries. It’s an old lie. It is perfectly suited to appeal to teenagers. And therefore, it is perfectly suited to appeal to the perpetually-adolescent culture of America.
Ancient Roman Stoics and modern American New-Agers taught the idea that there is a divine spark within us that will lead us to what is good and right if we only listen to it. They have convinced many. Almost no one wants to hear the response of God in the scriptures. But the scriptures plainly say that our hearts are corrupt and cannot be trusted.
It is true that the scriptures say that God made humans in His image. But right away, we corrupted that image, tainted it, with our disobedience to God’s moral law.
So don’t follow your heart. There is one who is trustworthy whom you can follow. Along the seashore, he invited Peter and Andrew, James and John. “Come, follow me.” And Jesus invites you too. Unlike your hearts, he will not lead you astray.
Love in Christ,
Pastor, Rocky River Baptist Church