Deceived by Our Own Hearts

One of the most troubling patterns in a woman’s life is not recognizing when her own vulnerabilities are causing her to miss the mark. I’m reminded of someone that I know who, from outwardly appearances, looks like one of the strongest persons you’ll ever meet. Everything about her seems put together, and I’ve visited her home, it’s equally fierce. Beautiful furniture, impeccably arranged, and every room is spotless. She’s a very successful attorney with a penchant for younger men, and no matter how apparent the signs appear to be, she never suspects their infidelity or the fact that she’s being used for her money.

In the case of her current boyfriend, I’m personally convinced that he cares for her, but there have been numerous events that would have caused the average sister to turn him loose months ago. She hasn’t, and it’s troubling to witness. It’s not a good situation. When questioned about her choices, she says, “The heart wants what it wants.” Ain’t that the truth. That’s exactly why God warns us in Proverbs 4:23 (NLT), “Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.” To guard is to watch over in order to protect or control. The heart is a part of the soul, and God has charged us with the responsibility to watch over and protect it. He knows that our propensity is to allow our hearts to not only make our decisions and choices, but to rule over them as well. This governing position belongs to Christ. Only he is capable of always steering us in the right direction.

Guarding our hearts not only involves what we allow to flow out of it, but also what we allow to come into it. Jesus Christ said in Luke 6:45(NLT), “A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. What you say flows from what is in your heart.” This verse informs us that the heart has a treasury. It has storage capability, and sometimes it has some unnecessary and unhelpful baggage. All of us are works in progress, and part of our soul-work is to come clean to Heavenly Father about our stuff.

God has given us a mission in life. It requires our understanding of what He’s asking us to do, as well as our commitment to do it. Within our mission to please God and grow in Christ, there are certain tasks that we unequivocally must do, and confronting our baggage so we can get rid of it is one of them.

Jeremiah 17:9 tells us that we can be deceived by our own hearts, because our hearts can and do at times lead us astray. Our human hearts can cause us to veer off the path that God wants us to be on. This is why He tells us in Proverbs 3:5-6 (NLT), “5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. 6 Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.” God knows our futures. He knows the person that is best for the path that He has purposed and laid before us.

We should never allow the fear of loneliness to undermine our relationship with God and cause us to betray our own destiny within His plan and will. God wants the best for us, and when it is clear that we don’t have it, or that what we have isn’t building us up but tearing us down, then we must examine our hearts. Because if we’re trying to hold on to something that is harmful to our souls, fear is running the show. Whenever that happens, the outcome might cause us to look the part of someone who has it all together, but deep down, we’re falling apart, and we need God’s love to heal our wounded places.

We’ve probably all encountered a friend that doesn’t want to admit the truth to herself, and it might feel as though we’re not able to help, but prayer is the very best help we can offer. It’s a privilege to pray for them in faith. We should also let their examples remind us to put our own vulnerabilities in check, so that we can continually obey God’s Word and produce good things from the treasury of our hearts.■

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

“Deceived by Our Own Hearts” written by Fran for DomesticAbuseAwareness.Org ©2017. All rights reserved. All done to the glory of God through Jesus Christ, our Lord!

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