Trust Your Heart (Is It Biblical?)

You’ve probably read it, heard it taught and if you’re like me, you’ve probably given it as advice to others: Trust your heart.

The thought that I can trust my heart is a comforting one but is it true? Is this frequent word of advice biblical?

My ESV Bible uses the English word “trust” 80+ times. The majority of the references have God as the object, then man, and then inanimate things. Not once is one’s heart the object. Does this mean that this familiar maxim is unbiblical?

Whether or not a verse can be found that directly or indirectly exhorts us to trust in our hearts, there are undeniably much, much more that exhort us to trust in the Lord.

As a regenerated follower of Jesus, I’m not sure I’m supposed to trust in my heart. But, I’m not sure I am to distrust it either.

Here’s what I mean. Where we stand today, our hearts are somewhere between where it was before Jesus, “deceitful above all things” (Jer. 17:9) and where it’s headed, “we shall be like Him” (1 John 3:2).

There are times when my heart is right on and other times when it’s way off.

I don’t believe God want us to waste time on trying to figure out if we should trust our heart or distrust it in each given situation. He wants us to trust Him and let Him sort our hearts out. He’s really, really good at doing that.

Matter of fact, this is what Paul chose to do when he told the Corinthian believers that it mattered very little to him if his heart’s motives were judged by them or a human court. He didn’t even take it upon himself to judge his own motives, he let the Lord deal with that. (1 Corinthians 4:3-5).

As for me, I’ll follow Paul’s lead as well as adhere to the timeless words of Solomon, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths” (Proverbs 3:5-6).

In conclusion, I’m not going to trust my heart as though it were infallible. However, I will follow it when it leads me granted it’s not in a direction clearly at odds with God’s will and word. Ultimately, I’ll trust Him and leave Him to sort out my heart. I’ve learned over the years that He’s so, so good at it.

If you enjoyed this post please consider sharing it to your timeline or with someone you think might enjoy it as well. – LWL

2 thoughts on “Trust Your Heart (Is It Biblical?)

  1. I think “follow your heart” is a very Western, maybe even American thing. Films are full of this theme. And to a certain degree it is a very valid thing to say. I think the expression really means “let your heart, or your true passion lead you”, or don’t let yourself be restricted by an overthinking, self-doubting mind. Follow what makes you feel alive. Follow your dreams. This is what we mean, I believe when we say to trust and follow your heart. In this sense this is good, common wisdom. I think any true search for passion and meaning has to start in the heart. But I think that is where we have to stop with this, and realize, as you pointed out, Clark, that our hearts are not the necessarily the best compass for truth at all times. Our hearts can be deceived. And when we have conflicting interests, our hearts can be deceiving. The reference in Jeremiah 17:9 that “the heart is deceitful above all things,” holds just as true today as it does pre-Christ. Numerous times God tested his people to show them “what was in their hearts.” And then, as Christians, I think the hardest thing is that sometimes the enemy attacks our hearts, even when they are turned toward the Lord. We cannot always rely on our hearts to indicate truth. There is a very comforting scripture in 1 John 3:20: “If our hearts condemn us, we know that God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything. ” Sometime our hearts condemn us, because we are under accusation or false guilt. That is why we must rely on God’s Word. Trust in God, and what he says, as you put it, Clark. That is where our security and confidence lies.


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