This then is how… we set our hearts at rest in his presence whenever our hearts condemn us. For God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything. – 1 John 3:19-20
Think about all the romantic movies you’ve seen, all the pop songs you’ve heard, all the TV family sitcoms you’ve watched. Would it be safe to say that the phrase “Follow your heart” – along with all its variations – is a phrase that you’ve probably heard dozens of times over the years?
On one level, “Follow your heart” sounds like pretty good advice. After all, at the end of the day, don’t I have to be true to myself? And if I’m not following my heart, am I not just being dishonest with myself and everyone around me?
The problem with that line of thinking is that when I follow my heart, I’m assuming that my heart knows where it’s going, and nothing could be further from the truth. Like everything else in this broken-down world, my heart by itself is a blind and confused mess; blind and confused by the disease of sin.
That’s why the One who came to rescue me is greater than my heart. Long before my heart even existed, God sent his Son. At the cross Jesus Christ bled and died to cleanse me of my every sin. Three days later he brought himself back to life. And centuries after that, he created the miracle of faith in my heart through the power of his Word.
But my heart is far from perfect. It still doubts and fears. It still stumbles and falls. And in the dead of night it still brings up a sin from my past to haunt me. If I were to follow my heart in these moments, I would give in to despair and all would be darkness.
But here’s the truth that always pulls me back: God is greater than my heart. He says so in his Word! The confused fears of my heart are no match for what God has already done through the cross and the empty tomb. And if my heart still tries to haunt and condemn – well, that’s just too bad. My heart doesn’t have the final say. God does.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for being greater than my heart. When my heart haunts me about my past, overrule it with the exclamation point of the cross and the empty tomb. Amen.