Day 4: Guard your heart

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You know now that you have the mind of Christ. You can control your thoughts if you want. And you should! More than a year ago I blogged on the phrase ‘Follow your heart’. That blog is so relevant to this discussion about your identity in Christ, that I have to share it with you again.

I wonder how many people have a total misconception about this little phrase: “Follow your heart”.  Whenever a person is stuck at a crossroad with a big decision looming ahead, we tell him to follow his heart.  We know that the mind is logic.  We also know that the mind and the heart are often in conflict, so what is the heart?  The heart represents our thoughts, our desires, our feelings, our yearnings, our perceptions.  The heart is emotion.  The brain is logic.

So should you really follow your heart at any given time?  What does the Bible say?

The Bible makes a clear distinction between the mind and the heart.
Psalm 7:9 – Bring to an end the violence of the wicked and make the righteous secure— you, the righteous God who probes minds and hearts.
Psalm 26:2 – Test me, Lord, and try me, examine my heart and my mind;

Unfortunately, the Bible also makes it very clear that our hearts, in other words, our emotions, are not to be trusted.  More shocking than that – our emotions are evil.  Our emotions are the source of sin.
Genesis 6:5 – The Lord saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time.

Back to the question at hand: should we follow our hearts?  No.  Instead, we should be spiritually mature enough to force ourselves to evaluate our emotions, and if necessary, to rather follow logical reasoning.  We should guard our hearts to prevent the birth of sinful behaviour.  Think about it.  Sin start out with one small thought.  Only when that thought is entertained, it grows.  It grows into behaviour.  That is why the Bible warns us to protect our emotions.
Proverbs 4:23 – Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.

So what am I saying?  We should not act on our emotions.  Think about it logically first.  Initially it’s not easy.  We have been trained from childhood to ‘follow our hearts’.  We have allowed ourselves to indulge every little emotion as if it is the absolute truth.  Emotions are not necessarily truth.  Emotions are quite often lies straight from hell.

There is only one exception, where we should follow our hearts and not our logical reasoning.  It’s when our logical reasoning becomes so arrogant that we start to think we don’t need God.  That God doesn’t exist.  That the Bible is a faerie tale.  Then, we are told to rather ignore the mind!
Proverbs 3:5 – Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;

We need Godly wisdom to entertain the right thoughts.  We are given a guideline in Philippians 4:8, something we can test our thoughts against – Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

If you are entertaining thoughts that are not in line with the verse above, then renew your mind. You can. You have the mind of Christ. Don’t allow your thoughts to run havoc.

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