(Don't) follow your heart

There are many feel-good sayings in life, things that even Christians might have on display somewhere in there home. One of those sayings is “Follow Your Heart.” I get it. It sounds good. It provides a certain warm and fuzzy feeling. But as my pastor recently pointed out, the heart is the source for many of our troubles. This is but one of the verses we looked at in that service:

For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies…" (Matthew 15:19 KJV).

After hearing this, I immediately thought of people in the Bible who followed their heart and paid dearly. The first person that came to mind was David. He lusted after a married woman, had an affair with her, and then tried to cover it up by having her husband stay at home after returning from battle. When that didn’t work, David had the man killed in battle. How’s that for following your heart?

Another example that came to mind was King Saul. He did not follow the Lord’s directions for battle but claimed that he did when the prophet Samuel paid him a visit and, when questioned by Samuel, King Saul blamed the people. In other words, King Saul had a false witness. That’s because King Saul followed his heart.

Men, we need to follow God’s Word. I know it’s not always easy. He never said it would be. But we can’t go around preaching the Word if we don’t live by the Word.

“Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy" (1 Peter 1:13-16 KJV).

The ‘be ye holy’ part comes from several scriptures in the Old Testament, including Leviticus 20:26.

“And ye shall be holy unto me: for I the Lord am holy, and have severed you from other people, that ye should be mine” (Leviticus 20:26 KJV).

The Israelites made mistakes. So did Gentiles. We see evidence of these mistakes in scripture. That is the same scripture given to man by God for doctrine, reproof, correction, and for instruction in righteousness. Why? So that the man of God may be perfect (2 Timothy 3:16-17 KJV).

Again, I know it’s not easy. I’m no saint. I have my weak moments where I grumble, and gripe, and say things that I should not. If that is you, let’s all make it a point to step up our prayer life. Let’s ask God each and every morning to help us learn His Word, to stand up for His Word, and to live by His Word. If and when you do wrong, ask God’s forgiveness, and seek forgiveness of anyone you may have hurt by your actions or words. If you want, pick someone to be an accountability partner. I know guys that do this type of mission. The idea is to have a friend watch for things we say and do and politely call you out on things when necessary. If you go down this road, do not get upset when your friend says, ‘Hey, I noticed this and I just wanted to say (x, y, z).’ Be appreciative of that friend.

“Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend" (Proverbs 27:17 KJV).

Whatever you decide to do, don’t follow your heart. Follow God. Be a man after God’s own heart. David was that kind of man. He messed up when he followed his own heart.

Chris Woodward

Assistant Editor, One Million Dads
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