Don’t Just Follow Your Heart, Follow Jesus

A picture of a cross on a hill over looking mountains.

Has anyone ever told you to just follow your heart? What if I told you that’s among the worst advice you could ever give someone? Would you believe me? I’ve learned firsthand that this only leads down a road of disappointment. When I was younger I followed my heart and made my fair share of mistakes, especially in the relationships I was in. When I followed my heart it always led me to want more. I was never fully satisfied.

The heart can’t give you what Jesus alone is meant to give you! In Jeremiah 17:9, the Bible makes a clear statement about the true condition of our hearts: “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?

I should point out I’m not referring to the vital organ called the heart that pumps blood all throughout your body. I like how GotQuestions.org defines the heart: “The Bible mentions the heart almost 1,000 times. In essence, this is what it says: the heart is that spiritual part of us where our emotions and desires dwell.”

Catch that? It’s the place where your emotions and desires dwell or live or reside. Romans 3:23 makes it clear that we are all sinners who have fallen short of the glory of God. If that’s the case, telling someone to follow their heart is essentially telling them to follow their own emotions and desires over following Jesus

See the problem with telling someone to just follow their heart?

I want to share with you three reasons why following your heart is a bad idea and why following Jesus is so much better!

Following your heart will lead to disappointment 

No one likes to be disappointed. If I would have stuck with following my heart when I was younger I would not be where I am today. In fact, I probably wouldn’t have a personal relationship with Jesus. 

Following your heart will ultimately lead to disappointment because it cannot give you what only Jesus was meant to give you: fulfillment! 

Jeremiah 29:11 says, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope” (ESV). Cling to this verse and remember that the One who created you has plans for you that you probably don’t even know yet! He has a purpose for you! When we follow our heart we will eventually find ourselves disappointed and, ultimately, missing out on the plans God has for us! 

Following your heart will lead you astray 

When we follow our heart we are following our own emotions and desires. Jesus warns us in Mark 13:5, “And Jesus began to say to them, “See that no one leads you astray” (ESV). If we entertain our own emotions and desires (or follow our heart) we will be led astray by our own flesh.

Of course, I’m not suggesting you ignore your emotions or desires. God gave us emotions, but don’t let your emotions control you. And, as for our desires, do they align with God’s heart and His will? Or are they self-based and self-focused?

If you don’t want to be led astray don’t just follow your heart, follow Jesus! 

Following your heart will not fulfill you

I’ve mentioned this already, but it’s worth repeating. Only Jesus can fulfill your deepest desires and purpose in life. Following our hearts is like being led by the wind. It comes and goes and changes direction quickly. Following Jesus is a sure foundation, a direction that is unshakable and more fulfilling than anything else in this life. 

Psalm 145:15-16 says, “The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food in due season. You open your hand; you satisfy the desire of every living thing” (ESV). Jesus is the only one who will give us true fulfillment and lasting satisfaction in this life. 

Why? 

We were designed for a relationship–a relationship with our Creator! 

Next time someone asks you for advice or if they should follow their heart, warn them. Tell them about Jesus, who He is, what He’s done for them, and how only He can lead them down a path of true fulfillment, purpose, and satisfaction. Following Jesus is the best decision anyone can ever make! Tell someone today to follow Jesus over following their heart!

This post originally appeared at Think Eternity. Used with permission.

Published by Aaron Joseph Hall

Aaron Joseph Hall is a husband, dad, pastor, author, freelance writer, and inspirational blogger. His newest book, Redeem the Story: A Call to let God Rewrite Your Story, is now available worldwide.

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