Can We Trust Our Hearts?

The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? Jeremiah 17:9

Isn’t making an important decision sometimes so difficult? We all want to do what is best for us and for our families, but more importantly, we want to do what is best in God’s eyes. We may spend much time thinking about our situations, weighing our options, praying, seeking God’s will to guide us, and still we may find no obvious answers.

We may become impatient and feel as if we should just trust our instincts and do what our hearts tell us to do. After all, can’t we trust our hearts to know what is best for us?

Each one of us wants to believe that our own heart is good and that it holds the best part of who we are. The heart is the essence of our being and it gives us the capacity to love, to feel, to know deep inside. Yet, can we truly trust our hearts to know?

Scripture has made it very clear in this verse and in others that sadly we cannot, for our hearts are often deceitful, wicked, incurable, incapable of being understood, and particularly untrustworthy.

As we reflect on these thoughts, perhaps we too can find the wisdom in these truths. For how many different feelings can we have on the same subject on a given day? Our emotions fluctuate and depending on our moods, our thoughts can change.  Many of our experiences from the past or our own selfish desires can come into play in our heart feelings and decisions.

How many times after we have made a decision based on what we thought our hearts were telling us to do, but yet, later we questioned why we would have done so, and even deeply regretted it?

The truth is, our hearts are seriously flawed and broken by our own selfishness, our own deceit, and our own lies to ourselves. Through time and the experiences life has given us, our hearts have become hardened, rebellious, unreliable, and distrusting of others. We feel as if we have to protect ourselves and our hearts often lead us to do so. They pull us in directions that our desires want us to go or in the direction that we feel is best for us.

We can’t always depend on our hearts to know what is best. In fact, Scripture instructs us to lead our hearts, to take full responsibility for its condition and its direction. We need to keep our hearts on the right path, keep our motives pure, and centered on God.

In Jeremiah 17:10, we are told to let the Lord search our hearts and examine our minds to help us focus on His truth and His will. Only God can transform our hearts into ones that will seek His presence and lead us to make the right decisions. May we trust in Him to show us the way!


Our most gracious and loving God, you know the turmoil our hearts and minds often go through as we try to make life decisions. Fill our hearts with love for you, guide our paths in your truth and light, and lead us into the way we should go. Thank you for your presence in our lives and for your Word to remind us of your love and grace. Amen

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