Back in the 80’s, the Swedish pop group Roxette had a hit song called “Listen to your heart.” If you were either a fan of the group (I’m sorry) or survived the 80’s relatively unscathed (except for the odd Duran Duran flashback) you might remember.
Listen to your heart—when he’s calling for you
Listen to your heart—there’s nothing else you can do
Now you remember, don’t you?
Sadly, this awful song was in my head as I sat in the Zurich Airport waiting for my connection to London Monday morning (yeah, I know). But this song reminded me of something we all too frequently think is a good idea:
Just listen to your heart.
It makes for a great…err, well, it makes for a pop song, but it’s lousy theology. Why?
Because, “my heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick!” (Jer. 17:9)
I’ve written about this subject before, but it bears repeating:
Often the worst thing we can do is listen to our hearts. Because our hearts are naturally inclined to sin, they will always lead us to things that displease God, but seem right in our own eyes. The serpent’s tempting of Eve in the garden is a perfect example. He convinced her to distrust God, that He was holding out something really good from her and Adam. The text says, “[W]hen the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate” (Gen 3:6).
We can’t miss that—she saw that it was a delight to the eyes. It seemed like a good thing. Her feelings told her, “Go for it!”
And both she and the man did, which brings us to today; to a culture that continues to pummel us with the same message, over and over again: “Just listen to your heart. Do what feels right. You deserve it.” [Read more…]