By Brother Michel Lankford
Question: What Happened to the Proverb, ‘Trust Your Heart?’
Please, I BEG you. DON’T Trust your heart if you have a functioning brain in your head.
As it is written: “The heart is more deceitful than all else And is desperately sick; Who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17:9, NASB95)
As it is written: He who trusts in his own heart is a fool, But he who walks wisely will be delivered.” (Proverbs 28:26, NASB95)
As it is written: Every man’s way is right in his own eyes, But the LORD weighs the hearts.” (Proverbs 21:2, NASB95)
As it is written: Do you see a man wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.” (Proverbs 26:12, NASB95)
As it is written: All the ways of a man are clean in his own sight, But the LORD weighs the motives.” (Proverbs 16:2, NASB95)
As it is written: There is a way which seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.” (Proverbs 16:25, NASB95)
Moreover, 17 times throughout the Whole Testament of Scripture, God’s Word gives us clear Instructions like “Do not deceive yourself.” “Do not be deceived.” “See to it that no one deceives you.” “See to it that you are not led astray.”
(e.g. Hebrews 3:13; Matthew 24:4; 1 Corinthians 15:33; Ephesians 5:5–6; Galatians 6:7–9; 1 John3:7–10).
Why does God spend so much time warning us not to deceive ourselves, and not to let others deceive us? It’s very simple. He does it because it’s NECESSARY. Our heart can and will deceive us if we are not diligent and if we do not challenge it with the truth at every step. You want some examples? Here are just a few.
Example: The children of Israel convinced themselves that they are offering worship to YHWH Almighty God, when in fact they were practicing idolatry (Exodus 32:1-10). They declared and told themselves that what they were doing was worship to the Almighty, but God was highly offended by what they did. Their heart deceived them.
Example: The United States held black people in slavery and hopeless servitude for more than 150 years, before slavery was finally banned by the 13th amendment. How does a country that established itself on the principles of liberty justify doing this to millions of people on the basis of race? It’s simple. They lied to their own heart. They told themselves that black people were not full-fledged human beings, and since they allegedly were not fully human beings, they were not entitled to the same rights of liberty that every person is entitled to possess. With that lie firmly established in their hearts and minds, they could justify treating a black person virtually any way they wanted. People’s hearts were lying to them, and it took over the national consciousness for years. Restoring justice to that situation cost more than 500,000 lives.
Example: How does an advanced civilization like Germany justify denying life, liberty, property and rights of more than 12 million people, 6 million of them being Jewish? It’s very simple. Once again they first convinced themselves of the lie that those 12 million people were not fully human beings, therefore anything they wanted to do to those people was justified in their own eyes. Ending that evil regime cost more than 50 million lives.
Example: Since 1973, more than 65 million pre-babies have been aborted/murdered in the United States. To put it in perspective, that is enough people destroyed to fill the state of California three times over. How does a country that establishes itself on life, liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness deny those rights to more than 65 million unborn children, who have committed no crime, and done no wrong to anyone? How does destroying those people come to be viewed as a “Civil Right” in America?” It’s very simple. They accepted the same lie in their hearts that the slaveholders and the Nazis did. They told themselves that those babies were not fully human beings, and therefore they did not have the same human rights as everyone else to life, to liberty, and to the pursuit of happiness. That mass murder is still continuing in this country.
Example: The fact is that every gang banger, thief, abuser, burglar, and the murderer has been deceived and believes the lies of his own heart. Every criminal and abuser has convinced himself or herself either that he or she is justified in acting as they do, or that they have no other choice but to do what they are doing. It’s a lie of course. They are deceiving themselves of course, but they sincerely believe that on some level. They have convinced themselves on some level that it is justified, or they wouldn’t do it.
Trust and Follow the Truth, NOT Your Heart
As it is written: You shall not do at all what we are doing here today, every man doing whatever is right in his own eyes;” (Deuteronomy 12:8, NASB95)
As it is written: Trust in the LORD and do good; Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness.” (Psalm 37:3, NASB95)
As it is written: 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 your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the LORD and turn away from evil.” (Proverbs 3:5–7, NASB95)
As it is written: “Now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require from you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways and love Him, and to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep the LORD’S commandments and His statutes which I am commanding you today for your good?” (Deuteronomy 10:12–13, NASB95)
As it is written: He has told you, O man, what is good; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God?” (Micah 6:8, NASB95)
Brother Michel Lankford