Listen to Your Heart?

“For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person” (Mark 7:21-23).

“Listen to Your Heart” was a pop music single, released in 1988, but the concept has been around a very long time. With incredible staying power, the idea of “going with your gut” or “following your heart” seems pervasive – even across cultural lines. But is this sound advice or wise counsel?

Jesus spoke much about the heart of man, but He never said that anyone should rely on feelings as a guide. In fact, Jesus called His hearers to do the exact opposite. Jesus said that the human heart (the seat of desire) is naturally full of sin and wickedness. Following one’s heart will inevitably lead to shame, pain, and destruction.

The biblical truth is that our hearts are naturally sinful. This means that even those feelings which are genuine and deep are not to be trusted. The wise counsel is to hear and apply God’s word on the matter. Don’t listen to your heart; that’s often the worst thing you can do.

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