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Purity Girls
Purity 101

Follow Your Heart?

     Almost a year ago, I remember watching a "reality" dating show on TV, which ended (as usual) in a love triangle. In this case, two girls were competing for the affections of one man, who got to choose which of them he liked best.
     First, out comes girl number one, who believes she has fallen in love with the bachelor. He greets her affectionately, gazes deeply into her eyes and tells her…that he chose the other girl. The cameras follow girl one to her room, where her mascara gets all runny as she expresses her surprise and grief over the fact that the bachelor had seemed to like her so much, yet had actually chosen girl two.
     Next, out comes girl two, who greets our bachelor with a winsome smile. He gives her the wonderful news that he has chosen her, and she tells him that she also has a choice to make--a relationship with him or a million dollars. She says that he is a wonderful guy and although they've had a great time together…she chooses the money.
     Later, the threesome is reunited for an "after show" where they discuss their feelings about each other's choices. Girl one is asked if she would have chosen the man over the money, and she says, "Yes." That would have been the right decision for her, she says, because she had to follow her heart.
     "Well, what about the bachelor," they ask, "did he make the wrong decision by choosing the other girl?"
     "No," answers girl one, "he made the right decision because he followed his heart."
     "What about girl two?"
     "She also followed her heart," says girl one a little coolly.
     I think girl one speaks for the majority of young girls who have bought into the world's wisdom, which says that "if you follow your heart, you can never go wrong." It's a message preached in movies and TV shows and modeled by the lives of most celebrities, but it is an unbiblical and untrue message.
     Look what a mess it made in this case, leaving both girl one and the hapless bachelor brokenhearted in the end. Unlike the "happily ever endings" in Hollywood movies, the result of following your heart is never blissful happiness.
     That's why the Bible advises just the opposite of the world's "follow your heart" motto.
     In Proverbs 23:19, the Bible tells me to guide my heart, not let it guide me. The Bible also describes human hearts as deceitfully sinful (Jeremiah 17:9) and talks about the importance of "preparing our hearts." (2 Chronicles 12:14, 19:3, 20:33) Instead of allowing our hearts to mold us, why don't we mold our hearts into what God would have them to be?
     Look at the story of King Uzziah. When he first became king, he "did that which was right in the sight of the Lord," (2 Chron. 26:4) and the Bible tells us that "as long as he sought the LORD, God made him to prosper." (verse 5) In fact, this chapter tells us that he became famous for his military might because God helped him against his enemies, that other countries were afraid of him and brought him gifts of peace, and that he was enriched with great wealth.
     Yet, in the end, this king was separated from all those he loved in solitary confinement because of the horrible, painful, and contagious disease of leprosy--from which he eventually died.
     What happened to this mighty and wealthy king who had been so blessed by God? How did he come to such a sad, lonely, and miserable end? Well, the Bible tells us that he followed his heart.

 

     "But when he was strong, his heart was lifted up to his destruction: for he transgressed (sinned) against the LORD his God," according to 2 Chronicles 26:16.
     You'd have thought if anyone could have trusted his heart, it would have been Uzziah--after all, the Bible tells us that he was a good king who did right…until his heart led him into sin.
     So, if you can't trust your heart to make the right decision, what is the basis of good decision making?
     First, seek God (read Prov.3:5-6). Remember, the Bible says that as long as Uzziah sought the Lord, God blessed his decisions.
     The best way to seek the Lord is through his Word. What does the Bible have to say about your decision? Also, you can pray and ask the Holy Spirit to lead you, helping you to know what the wisest choice would be. One other way to seek the Lord is to get godly counsel from adults you admire as putting God first in their own lives and being good students of His Word, such as pastors, Sunday school teachers, etc.
     Second, you should follow the authority structure that God has set up for you (see Romans 13:1). This structure includes parents, school teachers, and policemen. If your heart is leading you to make a decision contrary to the rules set up by these authority figures, you can count on it, your heart is leading you in the wrong direction.
     Third, use your brain. As women, we tend to react to things emotionally, more often than men do. Sometimes, our heightened emotions are valuable. They lead us to be more compassionate, nurturing, and thoughtful than men naturally tend to be.
     However, our emotions often lead us to make foolish and hurtful decisions as well. For example, have you ever heard a girl or woman say, "I love him, and he loves me, too, but sometimes he hits me. I just can't break up with him, though, because I love him so much." What a foolish statement! And what a destructive decision that woman is making by following her heart!
     Any time your heart is leading you to make a decision that your brain knows is not for your best, you should re-evaluate that decision. Write it down on paper, look at the "cold, hard facts" and make sure your heart is not deceiving you.
     Remember the results of the reality show? Well, the girl whose mascara did not get runny later explained why she had chosen the money over the bachelor. Why do you think it was? Was he not handsome enough? Were their dates not breathtakingly romantic?
     Actually, girl two explained, there were several traits about the bachelor that she did not like as she got to know him. He tended to take advantage of the girls' position of competition against one another, asking them to do things (physically) to win his favor that they probably would not have done otherwise. Also, he was not as intellectual as she and did not enjoy reading books or talking about new ideas or concepts.
     Sounds like this girl had learned not to be swept away by her emotions but to use something other than her heart to make wiser decisions for the future! Remember that you, too, have to live with the outcome of your decisions, and some decisions will haunt you for life. So don't hurt yourself by making poor choices, and then spend the rest of your life wishing you could take back what you did--make choices that will bring you honor. I can't promise you'll get to make a million dollar decision, but at least you'll make choices that you can live with!

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