Our hearts tell us to stay in bed and forget about work. It is our hearts that tell us to take revenge on our friends for saying the wrong thing. It is our hearts that wish to lie to those around us so that we can get our way. Our hearts would have many people killed if we allowed them to take charge.
“The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17:9).
Who can understand the heart? If we find ourselves getting confused by our desires each and everyday, it’s probably because we are listening to our hearts. In other words, if we are on a roller coaster ride of emotions, it’s because our hearts are in control. If we bounce from one desire to the next, it’s because our hearts are the deciding factor in our lives.
What is the cure to a wicked heart? Well, in scripture it tells us that there is no cure, so that means that the only cure to the disease is not to get it. We can’t listen to our hearts! We may hear our hearts rooting for us to hurt someone, but we can’t go through with it. We may hear our hearts becoming envious of every different career opportunity out there, but we can’t pursue being a doctor one day and then the next decide to take up professional race car driving. We may feel our hearts falling in love with a married man, but we better not pursue him.
If we aren’t suppose to listen to our heart, then what are we suppose to do? “But blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. He will be like a tree planted by water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit” (Jeremiah 17:7-8).
The Lord will have us use the big brain that he gave us. Instead of allowing our hearts to rule over us, instead of allowing our hearts to deceive us into sleeping with our neighbors, deceive us into chasing one dream one day and then switching to a different dream the next, deceive us into losing control of our anger, he will keep us in one place, in one mind, thinking straight thoughts, rooted like a tree drinking from an endless spring, growing tall and strong.
Here’s the plan. Let’s pray about our lives, and then let’s decide how we want to act. Let’s decide that when someone makes us mad, we will act in a way that isn’t out of control. We will keep calm, forgive, and forget. When someone asks us a tough question, let’s decide that we won’t lie to that person. Instead, we will use our brains to come up with a better answer.
Let’s figure out what it is that we like in life, make a goal for ourselves, and stick with it. And when our hearts tell us that we are sick of working toward that goal, keep working on it. Keep to the plan of action, otherwise we will only have unfinished projects, broken relationships, and hurt feelings lying all over our lives.
But most importantly, we need to put our faith in the Lord. When we do that, we can find peace on those days that our hearts want to scream, quit, and tell us that everything sucks. Our minds can rely on the thoughts of Jesus Christ. And when our minds rely on the thoughts of Jesus Christ, we will begin allowing these thoughts to govern our lives: God is my strength, God is my light, God is my life, and I know he will lead me and he will guide me. And I know that I am better than this—I know I want better than this for me and for those around me.
With Jesus in charge, consistency, balance, and self-control will finally be ours. We will be able to stick to a single thought of confidence, achievement, and love. We will be able to say I want joy, so I am going to focus on finding it in my life. And everything else, I’ll forget about it. And when we allow God to change the way we think, when we stay consistent in our actions by letting the knowledge of God’s Word define our thoughts, we will begin to grow like an oak tree, strong, beautiful, respected, and full of peace.