I know that year after year, when our children grow and graduate from high school, college or some other fine institution they are given the message that they are to follow their hearts in life. Besides being old and cliche, trite and redundant, overused and simplistic, it is also humanism jumping to the forefront of our culture. It stems from the basic belief that mankind can do anything that we set our minds to and completely ignores what the word of God says about His sovereignty and our hearts.
This advice is so popular that I bet most Christians do not realize that it is contrary to God’s word. In fact, God’s word condemns those who follow their hearts.
Jeremiah 13:9ff “Thus says the LORD:… This evil people, who refuse to hear My words, who follow the dictates of their hearts, and walk after other gods to serve them and worship them, shall be just like this sash which is profitable for nothing.”
In other words, the Israelites had become humanist in their culture. They may not have been saying these words, “follow your heart” but they were doing it and God called them on it. He said that they were evil for following their hearts.
Simply because the heart is evil and wicked beyond cure. Jeremiah will later tell us two things about our sinfulness. First he shares a curse that is upon those who are humanist: Jeremiah 13:5 Thus says the LORD: “Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart departs from the LORD.”
This is what the humanist is seeking to do. The call to “follow your heart” is not a call to “follow the Lord.” It’s a call to depart from the LORD. Instead of looking to Him for provision, wisdom and guidance, the humanist is saying: “Hey… you know what’s best for you!”
The second reality about our hearts is that they are wicked and keep us from knowing what is best for us. Jeremiah 17:9 (Thus says the LORD) “The hear is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked: who can know it?”
The LORD doesn’t seem to be approving the humanist motto does He? When someone tells us to follow our hearts, we should not listen and be quick to point out this condemnation of the humanist religion. We should not follow our hearts, but follow the LORD. That can only be done by look to Him and His word, not the world and it’s word.
Do not follow your heart… follow the LORD.
For your pleasure, here is Rich Mullin’s take on the issue as well: