Let’s say you had a friend who always wanted to borrow your car, but every single time you loaned your friend the keys, they drove too fast through one of those traffic cameras, giving you a ticket; or worse, they drove the car into a tree or off of a bridge. At some point you’re going to stop handing over the keys to your car, right? Let’s say you had a friend who always needed to use your phone, but whenever you loaned them your phone, they texted offensive, mean, crude things to people while pretending to be you just to start all kinds of drama. I mean, at some point you would stop giving that friend your phone, right? What if you had a friend that you dearly loved, but every time you told them a deep and important secret, they betrayed your trust? Even though you love them, at some point you’re gonna have to stop telling them your secrets, right?
Now, anyone who reads those questions would agree that the answers are obvious, but at the same time, pretty much all of us do something almost exactly like this every single day of our lives, we just don’t see it. So, what is that thing we all do? Simply put, our problem is that we follow our heart.
Now, before you stop reading this and scroll on down away from the rest of the post, hang with me for a second. I mean, you’re probably thinking, “How can following your heart be wrong? I thought believing in yourself and going with your gut and following your heart were the basics of life! Isn’t that the whole point of every commencement speech?!”
You’re right. That is the point of every commencement speech, but that doesn’t make it sound advice. I want to show you a verse that could change everything: “The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately sick; who can understand it?” - Jeremiah 17:9
There was a big movement among Christian men a few years back (because some dude wrote a best-selling book) that was all about following your heart. The idea was that people had become passive and pitiful and the answer was to get out there and just go with whatever your heart would tell you. “Follow your dreams!” it said. The book talked all about William Wallace and being a warrior or whatever. I mean, it sounds exciting and everything, but there is a deep problem with this philosophy, and that problem beats anywhere from 50 to 90 times every minute… The problem is our heart. The problem is that our hearts are fallen, broken, sick and desperately wrong. Every stupid thing I’ve ever done in my life was because I followed my heart. Every cycle of sin and filthy betrayal were because I listened to my heart. Your heart will betray you and lie to you. It will take you down the primrose path to destruction, ruining your relationships and shipwrecking your life.
The question is, if we’re not supposed to follow our hearts, what do we follow? Well, I can tell you the answer to that question in one word: Jesus. Follow Jesus. Don’t follow the dramatic, emotional and unpredictable longings of your fallen, terminally-ill heart - follow Jesus. Stop bowing your knee to your own heart. Crown Jesus your king instead of your own instincts and feelings. Follow the One who is perfect in wisdom and always filled with peace. Follow the One who loved you enough to give His blood and life for you. Follow Jesus. Give Him the keys. Tell Him your secrets. Get with Jesus every day and find out what it looks like to follow Him.