Whatever You Do, Don’t Follow Your Heart

“Follow your arrow.”

It’s a slogan I’ve seen everywhere from Pinterest to T-shirts. But just because something is popular or pin-able doesn’t mean it’s true. Right?

So let’s chase that little arrow, er . . . saying for a while, shall we? Join me as I step into the ring and wrestle with this important question:

Should I follow my heart?

We will get to the heart of the matter in a minute, but let’s start with our brains.

Proverbs 28:26 gives us a shocking jolt: “Whoever trusts in his own mind is a fool, but he who walks in wisdom will be delivered.”

Would you mind reading that passage again? Let it sink deep into your cranium. Just because you think it doesn’t mean it’s true. The idea that our own thoughts about ourselves cannot be trusted, that we are not qualified to know who we are, isn’t an easy truth to accept. It means that all the cute things we see stuck everywhere . . .

  • Know thyself.
  • Live your truth.
  • Don’t wait for permission to be who you are.

. . . it’s all hogwash.

It may not be popular or Pinteresting, but it’s true. Your thoughts about yourself and the world around can’t always be trusted. While we are on the subject, your heart is lying to you too. “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” (Jer. 17:9).

Your heart will lie to you about who or what is worthy of your affections. “If it feels good, it is good,” your heart will say. This is a lie that Satan has been telling since the Garden of Eden. “He said to the woman, ‘Did God actually say, “You shall not eat of any tree in the garden”?’”(Gen. 3:1).

Notice the tempter was trying to get Eve to trust her own brain. When that didn’t work immediately, he took a different approach: “But the serpent said to the woman, ‘You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil’” (vv. 4–5).

The enemy was tapping into the deepest desires of Eve’s heart . . .

  • the desire to understand the universe around her
  • the desire to be like God
  • the desire to be in control.

Eve trusted those desires, and nibble . . . crunch . . . Fall—she found herself trapped and permanently changed by sin.

A Trustworthy Voice

See if you recognize these popular slogans:

“Follow your heart.”

Truth: Please don’t! It will take your life down the toilet.

“Follow your heart but take your brain with you.”

Truth: Nope and nope.

“Follow your arrow.”

Truth: Well, if the arrow is your heart, that won’t work. If the arrow is your brain, that won’t work either. (If the arrow is just an arrow, I’m not sure what we’re all talking about).

It’s admittedly not as warm and fuzzy, but how’s this for a dose of truth?

“I can’t trust my brain, and my heart is a sick liar.”

That’s the cloud, but here’s the silver lining: “‘My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me’” (John 10:27).

There is a voice that can be trusted. It’s the voice of the Good Shepherd. His trustworthy voice is accessible to us at all times through His Word.

Just because you think it doesn’t mean it’s true. Just because you feel it doesn’t mean you should act on it. That’s why we need God’s help to turn down the volume of our head and hearts and turn up His Truth. Doing so is a lifelong process. It requires us to run to the deep well of God’s Word often to help us see the difference between perceived truth and actual Truth.

Don’t follow your arrow, sweet girl. Follow Jesus. He will never, ever lead you astray.

About Author

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Erin is passionate about pointing young women toward God's Truth. She is the author of several books and a frequent speaker and blogger to women of all ages. Erin lives on a small farm in the midwest with her husband and kids. When she's not writing, you can find her herding goats, chickens, and children.

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