The Heart~August 17, 2006

Jeremiah 17:9-10~ The heart is deceitful above all things and beyone cure. Who can understand it? “I the Lord search the heart and examine the mind, to reward a man according to his conduct, according to what his deeds deserve.”

One of the most prevalent pieces of advice offered in our culture is to “Listen to your Heart” or “Follow your Heart” or “Be true to your own heart”. One can hear these words from parents, friends, teachers, popular songs, even from the pulpit. And these words are offered in love and sincerity, truely wishing happiness to the recipient. I may have even used a variation of this from time to time. Humans tend to believe that at heart we are all able to make good healthy decisions for ourselves. We tend to think that whatever our heart tells us is right or ok for us is what we should trust in or follow. But scripture tells us something completely different. “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyone cure.” That is a pretty definitive statement. No wishy washy thinking here. Our heart can deceive us. Our heart sometimes tells us things like “I am alone, God has turned his back to me” or “But it feels good to me, how could it hurt”. Listening to our heart can lead us to sin…Just ask David and Bathsheba. Just ask Jim Bakker or Gary Hart. I can even look at my own life for glaring examples of this truth. Listening to my heart can and has caused division and strife, not the happiness and peace that well-meaning advice givers has wished me. Scripture says that God searches out our hearts, and he “rewards” us according to what he finds there. When we accept Christ into our lives, he changes our hearts. We grow to look more and more like him as we grow spiritually and closer to him. We learn that to trust anything other than Christ is folly. We learn that even our best judgement calls and decisions on our own are as filthy rags. We need to filter every choice, every decision, every thought, and every belief through the filter of Christ. Only then can we truely know we are not being decieved by sinful attitudes. Only then are we protected from pride. Only then are our families protected from division and strife. Only then can we be assured that when God searches out our hearts and “rewards” us according to our deeds, he will be happy with what he sees; he will find Christ! Psalm 86:11 says, “Teach me your way, O Lord and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name.” I will be trusting in the Lord, not in my heart! AMEN!


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