I have lost count of the number of broken people who have sat across from me over the years in extreme torment over the path their lives had taken. Broken relationships, rebellious teenagers, financial disaster and more.
Although unforeseen circumstances often impact our lives, I have found that many of our problems are more linked to the choices we make than they are random chance events. This is further evidenced by people like Anne Frank, Helen Keller, Dave Pelzer and Nick Vujicic who overcame seemingly insurmountable difficulties to help and inspire millions while simultaneously making a good life for themselves. These people inspire us for a reason. There is something in us that knows that no matter what we have been through, God still wants great things for our lives.
So if our inner voice is telling us that God wants us to lead a happy and successful life, why does it seem so hard? What are we doing wrong?
In many cases, I have found that people are too enamored with how they feel. How many times have you heard the old worn-out lie, “Follow your heart?” I believe that eliminating our culture of this one lie would do more to help people succeed in their relationships, careers and finances than a year-long crash course with Tony Robbins.
Forgive my straight-forwardness, but this is one of the most stupid hoaxes ever perpetrated on a generation of people. Ask a pregnant 14-year old if she is glad she followed her heart. Ask the 800 lb man that can’t get out of bed if following his love of food was a good thing. Ask the person going through another divorce. Ask the person who quit their job to “follow their heart (dream)” without careful planning and preparation.
The whole “follow your heart” thing has been elevated to almost scriptural proportions. When I teach this concept in my parenting or leadership classes, I often receive sincere looks of disbelief. They are shocked that I would challenge what many consider to be unquestionable.
Contrary to the religious feelings people often get when quoting this junk, the Bible has something entirely different to say:
“The heart is more deceitful than all else And is desperately sick; Who can understand it? “I, the LORD, search the heart, I test the mind, Even to give to each man according to his ways, According to the results of his deeds. Jeremiah 17:9-10 (NASB)
Instead of just listening to your heart, consider getting some outside perspective from friends, family, pastors, experts, etc. Most importantly don’t forget to go to God. In many situations, we don’t pray simply because we already know what His answer will be. Since our way is inconsistent with God’s way, we cover our spiritual ears and follow our heart. For a while it feels good, but in the end…
Father, help us to follow Your heart instead of ours. Please bless my readers today. In Jesus Name, Amen!