The Dangers of Following Your Heart

From the team: Hey girls! Several of you have written to tell us that you love lludy (writer, speaker, and director of the online magazine Set Apart Girl. So we asked Leslie if she’d be willing to write for our blog. She said “yes!” We’re thrilled to pass along this guest post from her. Check it out!

“Follow your heart!” is a message boldly proclaimed in today’s world. It sounds like such great wisdom. Don’t know what to do? Confused about an important decision? Just follow your heart! Do whatever feels right to you!

But God gives us completely different directions when it comes to decision-making. He tells us plainly, “He who trusts in his own heart is a fool, but he who walks wisely will be delivered” (Prov. 28:26)

God’s Word makes it clear that when we allow our emotions and whims to lead us, we end up making a lot of selfish, unwise, and ungodly decisions. Just look back to some of the worst decisions you’ve ever made. How often was it a result of “following your heart” and ignoring the wisdom of God’s Word, tuning out the conviction of His Spirit, or disregarding the counsel of your parents and spiritual leaders?

What if I allowed my four young children to “follow their hearts” when it came to sharing toys, cleaning up their messes, or going to bed on time? It doesn’t take much imagination to realize that such a scenario is a recipe for disaster! My kids’ emotions, desires, and whims must become subservient to the will of the authorities that God has placed in their lives, such as parents and teachers—otherwise chaos, selfishness, and rebellion will quickly take over our home.

In the same way our own emotions, desires, and whims must become subservient to the Spirit of God—to His will, His agenda, His purpose, and His direction. Otherwise chaos, selfishness, and rebellion will quickly take over our souls.

Daily life is filled with hundreds of choices to either give in to our selfish whims or yield to Christ’s Spirit and obey His commands. Take, for example, your morning alarm clock. When the alarm goes off, do you yield to the beckoning whisper of Christ’s Spirit, asking you to get up and spend time with Him, or do you listen to your own selfish desire to stay in bed and push the snooze button over and over again until it’s too late to have a quiet time?

Many of us are so used to “following our hearts” when it comes to decisions like these that our ears are deaf to the Spirit of God; we have become enslaved to our own feelings rather than bondservants of Jesus Christ.

Despite the world’s message of “follow your heart,” we should never make decisions based upon what we feel like doing—but on what our King is asking of us. Loving Him is first an act of the will, a choice to put Him first—no matter what our feelings may say.

I encourage you to ask God to awaken you to any areas of your daily life in which you often yield to your emotional whims instead of to His Spirit. Ask Him for the grace to tune out your feelings and selfish desires, and listen to His gentle voice instead.

Once we learn to love Him as an act of our will (i.e. following His pattern whether we feel like it or not), our emotions and feelings naturally follow suit. Soon it will become our greatest delight to give our lives wholly to Him, and we will be able to echo the words of the Psalmist who said, “I delight to do thy will, O my God!” (Ps. 40:8)

About Author

Leslie Ludy is a bestselling author and speaker with a passion for helping women become set-apart for Christ. She and her husband Eric have published nineteen books with well over a million copies in print and translations in over a dozen languages, including When God Writes Your Love Story, Authentic Beauty, Set Apart Femininity, and her newest book, Set Apart Motherhood. Eric and Leslie live in Windsor, Colorado with their four precious kiddos.

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