From my childhood and into early adulthood my emotions ran my life.
I would act in the moment without a care as to how it may effect my future. Focused on myself with little to no regard for how it may cause harm to others. It “felt” right in the moment or it was wrong and I didn’t care.
Just like every little girl, I loved Disney movies. Watching the beautiful princesses have adventures, learn lessons and find “True Love” was fascinating. I wanted to be just like them. One message I learned not just from fictional cartoon royalty but from those closest around me was- “Follow your heart”.
When trying to make a decision-“Follow your heart”.
When navigating relationships-“Follow your heart”.
When finding my identity-” Follow your heart”.
Little did I know it was quite the opposite. And once I found out why-I vowed I would never tell my daughters nor anyone else “Follow your heart”.
“The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? “I the Lord search the heart and examine the mind, to reward each person according to their conduct, according to what their deeds deserve.” Jeremiah 17:9-10 (NIV).
The heart is deceitful.
The definition of deceitful goes something like this-misleading and fraudulent.
If we are following our hearts, we are misleading ourselves.
Just think about that for a moment. The world tells us to follow our heart.
God tells us our hearts, the very thing the world tells us to “follow” are-deceitful.
“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” Proverbs 27:19 (NIV)
We are called to guard our hearts. Why? Because they are deceptive.
Our hearts are not all atrocious. Our hearts can also be cheerful, wise, unwavering in faith and upright.
“A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones”. Proverbs 17:22 (NIV)
“The wise in heart accept commands, but a chattering fool comes to ruin.” Proverbs 10:8 (NIV)
“Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them”. Mark 11:23 (NIV)
“I will praise you with an upright heart as I learn your righteous laws.” Psalm 119:7 (NIV)
And this is why we must lead our hearts.
So what exactly does leading our hearts look like?
How can we successfully manage our hearts?
1.) Through Love and Faithfulness
“Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart.” Proverbs 3:3 (NIV)
We demonstrate to God we love him when we love those around us. It is far easier to have a heart full of joy, cheer and kindness when we are acting selflessly, living righteously and glorifying him in all we do. Being faithful no matter what our circumstances might be and remembering all he has done and continues to do for us.
2.) Focusing on God’s Word
“My son, pay attention to what I say; turn your ear to my words. Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart.” Proverbs 4:20-21 (NIV)
“As water reflects the face, so one’s life reflects the heart.” Proverbs 27:19 (NIV)
Turning our eyes toward the scriptures and mediating on God’s word can help us lead our heart in the right direction. You cannot lead your heart to begin with if you are unsure of which way to prompt it. Just as Proverbs states our lives reflect our hearts, we must be careful to live our lives according to God’s word. We are called to be set apart (Deuteronomy 14:2) and must live our lives respectively.
3.) Seeking God and retaining a close relationship with him
“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart”. Jeremiah 29:13 (NIV)
When we are trusting him and walking closely with the Lord he will direct our paths (Proverbs 3:5-6). When God is in control of our lives and we are allowing him to lead us, our hearts will follow.
Learning to lead our hearts is a lifelong struggle. Making mistakes and learning lessons along the way. Luckily God is on our side. When we give our hearts to him-that is the beginning of true leading.
“Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” Psalm 51:10 (NIV)
Dear Heavenly Father,
Please help us to stay focused on you. To not let our feelings and emotions dictate our hearts but to allow you to lead us. Please teach us to have cheerful hearts full of love that long to bring you honor and glory in all we do. Help us to be an example to those around us. To continue to search your word for the truth and write it on the tablet of our hearts. Thank you Lord for never giving up on us but for loving us no matter what.
In Jesus precious name,
Hugs and Blessings!