In many of today’s movies and TV shows, the lesson is put forth that we should follow our hearts above all else. From Disney cartoons to adult-rated dramas, the idea that what is best for us is to look deep within ourselves and do that which we inwardly desire. But will this philosophy really bring blessing to our lives?
Oftentimes, ideas that seem pleasant on their surface carry along with them disastrous and erroneous assumptions which are not readily apparent. When we are not vigilant to test the truth claims of the society around us, we can mistakenly believe some of these pleasant-sounding lies, right along with the errors contained in them.
In this case, the assumption that lies within the “follow your heart” advice is this: your inner self is perfect and righteous. This claim lies in stark opposition to Scripture, which teaches us the following:
The heart is more deceitful than all else
And is desperately sick;
Who can understand it?
I find then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wants to do good. For I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man, but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members.
The Corruption of Our Wills
We know that God created us in His image, and that our earthly father Adam was initially without sin. Yet when Adam rebelled against God in the Garden, he shattered the perfect nature he was given. Because of his sin, we, his children, have been born corrupted, bent away from the will of God and inclined toward selfishness and self-centered living.
When we look to our inner selves for direction and purpose, we will find nothing but emptiness and ruin. How many men have abandoned their wives and families because their hearts told them to pursue a fling with a woman at the office? How many youths have traded their bright future for a life of addiction because their first hit felt like heaven? Perhaps your own experiences have been less drastic than these examples, but have they not left you empty and unsatisfied?
The Way to Life
There is a better way to live. Jesus came to give us life, and that abundantly—His atoning death on the cross bought us peace on this earth and with our Father in heaven. Because He died to take the penalty of your sin and mine, we can be washed clean by placing our faith in Him as Savior and Lord. He rose from the grave to demonstrate His power over death, and sits now at the right hand of God the Father.
As Christians, we live not to follow our own inner desires, but rather to serve our Lord and Giver of Life. Living each day to bring God glory will not only fill the emptiness in a way “following your heart” never could, but your life will bring a smile to the face of the Lord Jesus Christ—on the day He welcomes you into His paradise with those wonderful words, “well done, my good and faithful servant!”