Don’t Follow Your Heart

In entertainment, you will find a common theme: follow your heart. Whether it’s for a spouse, career, dream, or even morality, you must follow your heart, open your heart, trust your heart, listen to your heart, ad naseum.

But God disagrees.

After giving instructions to Israel in the wilderness, God tells them to sew tassels with a blue cord onto the corners of their clothes, to help them “remember all the commandments of the LORD, to do them, not to follow after your own heart and your own eyes, which you are inclined to whore after”[1]. When He says that our propensity is to whore after our heart, He’s picturing it as a seductress trying to lure us away and bring death to our lives. He warns that the hearts is, “more deceitful than anything else, and incurable—who can understand it?”[2]. It isn’t a fountainhead of wisdom or freedom, but a sewer of lies and slavery.

How can I prove this? My own life is testimony to this truth. Whenever I followed my heart and my eyes, I found pain – sometimes not right away, but in the end, it yielded a crop of bitterness and heartache. I’ve seen the same result in others as well. No peace, no life; just the fleeing illusion of fulfillment resulting in the mold of discontent and destruction rotting the soul.

The Disney movie, Frozen, became a global hit a few years ago. The song, Let It Go, sung by Elsa (who had been hiding her icy powers but was now on the run) became many little girl’s favourite tune. One stanza says:
It’s time to see what I can do
To test the limits and break through
No right, no wrong, no rules for me I’m free![3]

Elsa was finally able to do everything her heart desired.

But the irony was (as stated by Tim Keller – I don’t remember the source) she was locked inside an ice castle, completely alone. Instead of receiving freedom, she made a prison!

So what is the solution? By following a bunch of rules?

Trevin Wax, in a critique about the movie, states:
“A popular idea in our culture is that there are only two ways to live:

  • Through authenticity, expressed in rebellion against cultural constraints
  • Through an ordered life, expressed in rule-keeping

Many people see these as the only options. And sometimes, Christians are assumed to be lumped in with the second group – the rule-keepers of religion. To the stodgy, religious types, ‘Let It Go’ is an anthem to the beauty of spontaneity and freedom.
But Christianity doesn’t see morality in either of these ways.”[4]

The solution is found in Elsa’s sister: Anna.

She doesn’t “let it go.”

She doesn’t forsake the older sister who rejected her all her young life.

She doesn’t follow her heart (although she does fall madly in love with Prince Hans, who just wants to kill her and her sister to gain their kingdom – again proving the point).

Instead, she gives her life to save Elsa – the complete antithesis of the Let it Go song. By giving up her life for another, she found meaning and life in the end.

Following your heart doesn’t bring freedom and life.

You find freedom and life by trusting the One who knows our heart all too well and yet gave His life to deliver us from it: Jesus, the Christ.

“Whoever seeks to preserve his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life will keep it.”[5]

 

 

[1] Numbers 15:39 ESV

[2] Jeremiah 17:9 CSB

[3] http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/idinamenzel/letitgo.html [accessed May 19, 2017]

[4] https://blogs.thegospelcoalition.org/trevinwax/2014/02/17/missing-the-point-of-frozens-let-it-go/ [accessed May 19, 2017]

[5] Luke 17:22