Stories, fairytales, TV shows, and movies have often taught us as children to just “follow our heart”. In this video, Michael Kelley argues that that is terrible advice and that the Bible actually preaches a much different message.
Michael Kelley serves as the Director of Groups Ministry for LifeWay. As a communicator, Michael speaks across the country at churches, conference, and retreats and in the author of Wednesdays Were Pretty Normal: A Boy, Cancer, and God, Transformational Discipleship, and Boring: Finding an Extraordinary God in an Ordinary Life.
The entire video is above, and the complete transcript is below.
What is the worst piece of advice I have ever received?
Now, I’m fortunate in this respect because I don’t know that I’ve gotten a lot of bad pieces of advice. I think the people that have spoken into my life have been generally well-meaning and they’ve been generally wise in telling me things about marriage, about parenting, about finances, about career, about all of these things.
But there is one thing that sticks out. And it’s something that’s fairly common. It’s probably a piece of advice that maybe someone has told to you or maybe that you’ve picked up from a series of movies or a TV show. And that is that the best thing that you can do as a human being is just follow your heart.
That is terrible advice! And the reason why it’s terrible advice is because my heart is a liar! And so is yours. That’s what the Bible tells us and that’s one of the reasons it’s important for us to have a healthy intake of Scripture is because we will not tell ourselves the truth, but God will tell us the truth.
What that means is is that if we follow our own hearts, we will follow our own hearts straight to hell. Straight to ruin. We will have misplaced desires, misplaced values, misunderstood loves, we will seek satisfaction in all the wrong things.
Now, that doesn’t mean that it’s always wrong. Like, sometimes your heart can be right in telling you the right thing to do. But, if you want to follow your heart, you’ve got to lay the truth of God’s Word up against what your natural inclination is.
That’s what it means to live under the lordship of Jesus. If we live by the rule of just following our own hearts, then we are worshipping at the idol of ourselves rather than bowing down to the authority that God has over us in Christ.
Want to see more from Michael? Check out his other LifeWay Voices posts: