What it Means to “Follow Your Heart” From a Biblical Perspective
Posted by Nawal Habib
Clichés such as “be yourself,” “follow your heart,” “stay true to yourself” and others such as these are often thrown around casually in our society. Many of us have grown up in a culture that tends to encourage these outlooks, and yet it is very common for people to report that they feel a dissonance between that message, which is pushed so frequently in popular music, T.V. shows, and other areas of pop culture and the way things actually seem to play out. It often seems that people are told to be themselves and to be original but then judged when they actually are. The phrase “follow your heart” is repeated over and over again, and it’s almost as if we are programmed to believe that this is the way to live.
The Bible has a lot to say on this topic, and it certainly doesn’t match up with the ideas presented by the world’s present pop culture and common way of thinking. We live in an age where we log on to Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and other social media sites and see post after post of people’s favorite inspirational quotes. We are bombarded with messages about “staying true to yourself”, as people add these quotes to their selfies, use them as captions to add a dramatic flair to pictures, and further spread these ideas through the power of social media. It seems that is just assumed that this type of overused, self-focused advice is the way to improve one’s life and figure things out. These ideas are pretty much the universal theme in any form of children’s entertainment that claims to contain positive messages. While our culture seems to think that depending on an internal sense of morality, direction, and identity is the key to contentment, the Bible suggests otherwise.
“He who trusts in his own heart is a fool, but whoever walks wisely will be delivered.” Proverbs 28:26
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5,6
“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11
The Bible clearly lets us know that we are to follow after God’s heart, to seek to do His will. It also lets us know who we are. The Bible tells us that we are the children of God, made in the image of God, worth so much that Jesus would rather cease to exist and face the ultimate consequence of sin in order to bring us back to Him. The way we should determine how we want to live is to follow the examples set by Jesus and commandments, warnings, and instructions given to us through scripture, not out of obligation, but out of love. By complying to God’s will and by praying earnestly, we allow God to shape our character and to change our hearts into what they should be. He makes us humble and gives the opportunity to follow His lead and live out His plans, because those are the only ones that are truly dependable. Our human hearts are corrupted by sin and we are more than capable of mistakes and taking wrong turns.
It is definitely true that God made each one of us with our own sense of originality. The Lord is a creative God and he made us in a creative, original, and careful way. We are fearfully and wonderfully made to have certain personality traits, capabilities, and spiritual gifts. It’s important to recognize this, to thank God for it, and to learn to be the person God has made you to be. A very practical way to do this is to learn what your spiritual gifts are – the special abilities the Holy Spirit has given you, and to use them. In doing this, you get a better understanding of who God made you to be and how He works in your life. An example of this in the Bible is the first chapter of Jeremiah. In this chapter, God reveals to Jeremiah that he is called to be a prophet. Jeremiah protests and says that he cannot do it, but God assures him “I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb,” and therefore He knows what is best and what plans he should follow, because He is the creator and knows each person’s callings and capabilities. The chapter ends with verse 19, where God promises Jeremiah that he can succeed in being a prophet, because God will take care of him. “They will fight you, but they will fail. For I am with you, and I will take care of you. I, the lord, have spoken!”
God has a plan for your life. Will you choose to follow after God’s heart, and allow him to make you the person you are meant to be?
Posted on February 18, 2015, in Lifestyle, Spiritual Life, Top Stories and tagged advice, apply, be yourself, Best, Bible, biblical, biblical perspective, cliche, contentment, definition, direction, Example, Facebook, fearfully and wonderfully made, follow your heart, God, heart, Holy Spirit, how to, humble, ideas, identity, Instagram, Jeremiah, Jesus, life, meaning, morality, originality, pinterest, popular, programmed, purpose, self, self-centered, Social media, Spiritual, Spiritual gift, stay true to yourself, Thinking, verses, way. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.