“Because our hearts are so subject to change according to our feelings, our “hearts” can be completely untrustworthy. The Bible says that “the heart is more deceitful than all else” (Jeremiah 17:9), and it will always pursue what is right at the moment. In the message Bible, Jeremiah 17:9 describes the heart as “hopelessly dark and deceitful, a puzzle that no one can figure out.” We certainly do not want our lives to be led by a puzzle that no one can figure out. Scriptures communicate a much more valuable message than “follow your heart.” Pastor Rhonda McGinnis
My emotions and feelings are a completely new concept for me. Up until I came to college, I ignored, repressed, and denied my feelings. I didn’t ever let myself cry and when I did I was alone. I came to college and my best friend taught me how to feel. She showed me it’s ok to cry and it’s ok to hurt, and she loved me through what I was feeling. I had never heard of this or even considered this as an option before. I had never opened up my heart to anyone before for fear of rejection and weakness. But I trusted my best friend and I knew it was ok.
In dealing with emotions and pain there are lessons I needed to learn (and I’m still learning). My emotions are real and what I’m feeling isn’t a sign of weakness. In order to be healthy, I can’t just ignore my emotions (which I mostly did) and therefore I was not able to understand them or know what I actually was feeling. Crying isn’t a sign of weakness and I can’t actually control how I feel. But, I can control how I react to those feelings. Which is what I still need to work on and learn.
In some of my relationships, I have been hurt and I have felt deep, smoldering pain. But my reaction has always been anger, frustration, and in the moment hatred. This could not be more wrong. My feelings inside of me well up so deep that I don’t have time to process them all and I let them all loose. My impulsive tendencies reach a boiling point and I just lash out. I have hurt more people than I ever wanted to because of this. In those moments, my feelings and my heart get the best of me. My reactions to the pain I’m feeling is not healthy and it is not ok. I wish I could take those moments back and slow myself down so I was able to clearly be understood, heard, and cared for in those moments of sheer pain. But what I have done is done and I can’t take my actions back. I am learning to change though.
My heart also plays tricks on me, just like any other beating human heart. This is a new concept for me as well, which I’m still working on and trying to learn. My heart tells me lies about the ones who love me. It’s like my heart is against me and for some reason, I always believe it. Jeremiah 17:9 says that “the heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure”. How can we “cure” it then? I think the answer lies in Jeremiah 17:8 which draws from Psalm 1:
“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; it’s leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”
The only way to “cure” a deceitful heart is through scripture and (as Jeremiah 17:10 says) only through the Lord. Only God knows the heart and can understand it.
I have made mistakes, I have believed my deceitful heart, I have hurt, torn apart, and destroyed bonds of friendship and deep, close relationship that I valued more than anything else. My prayer is that God would teach me how to control my emotions and that he would teach me how to instill his truth in my life so that I’m not fooled by my heart. I earnestly pray that he would heal the wounds in relationships that I’ve cause because of my emotions and deceitful heart. My prayer is that his truth would reign in my life beyond anything and anyone else, and that deceit would wither away like the grass; and that is my prayer for you as well.