A blog about everything about teaching the Bible. "And still I will show you a more excellent way..." (1 Corinthians 12:31).

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Can You Trust Your Heart?

Trust your feelings. Follow your heart. Listen to your instincts. Good advice, right? It’s popular advice, at least, and when your instincts are going off like a car alarm telling you to run, hide, get out, etc., well, by all means listen. That’s what God designed your instincts to do. But, when your heart tells you, “This feels right so it must be right,” seek a second opinion!

Maybe you’ll discover your feelings were right all along. On the other hand, the prisons (and graveyards) are full of folks who followed their hearts into what seemed right at the time, but wasn’t right. Can’t relate to the jail or cemetery thing? Well, a lot of us have followed our hearts into something that felt right, but ended up breaking them. God gave you emotions for a reason, and emotion is good, but it is not meant to be the reason why you do things. Reason is. Logic. Emotion is designed to follow reason and help you do the right thing with feeling. You have to put good, plain old sense first, let it tell you how you ought to feel, and then let your feelings catch up. Otherwise you’ll just end up hurt, or worse!

The prophet Jeremiah wrote, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” (17:9). “Deceitful above all things.” “Desperately sick.” Please let those words sink in. Sin has broken all our hearts from our youth. Our feelings can come from so many places—some pure, of course—but some dark and desperate. You cannot trust them unless you first seek God’s counsel. The prophet also wrote, “I know, O Lord, that the way of man is not in himself, that it is not in man who walks to direct his steps” (Jeremiah 10:23). I don’t know the right way by myself, and neither do you. Trying to feel your way into happiness and blessing is like a blind man on the edge of a cliff trying to feel around for a safe path. Let God’s word guide you. Read it. Study it. Obey it. 

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