Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Follow Your Heart?

Several years ago I took my family on a vacation to Great Britain. I was so excited about many things regarding this trip including using my GPS device that I had purchased years earlier. Fortunate for me the GPS came with maps of Great Britain already installed, including speaking voices with British accents. I had gotten more for my money than I bargained for when I purchased it. However, it was only after we arrived and started driving that I realized we had a problem. The GPS did have maps of Great Britain, but they were as old as the unit itself, which I purchased years earlier. What I failed to do before the trip was download the necessary upgrades to make the maps current. So, like it or not, we got lost several times and still had to stop and ask directions in spite of my wonderful piece of technology.

Isn’t this just like too many Christians today? We are born into fallen flesh. And, upon surrender to Jesus, He freely gives us His mind, “the mind of Christ.” But, too many of us continue to fumble through life using out of date spiritual maps because we ignore the very mind that Jesus deposited in us. Instead we too often rely on our fallen feelings. Far too many Christians, and even Christian counselors, use the mantra, “Follow your heart.” But, Jesus gave us His mind, leaving our hearts still fallen.

All feelings or emotions are the same. Anger is anger. Love is love. Fear is fear. Ironically, while emotions are the same from person to person, they can never be trusted as a guide. They do not constantly point to the truth. For example, you might fear the wrong things or love the wrong things. And, while love is love, loving that which is wrong can lead to spiritual death. While emotions are identical from person to person, individual minds are not. And, there is only one mind that is totally right and constant 100% of the time, and that is the mind of Christ. If you are a Christian, you have this mind.

I Corinthians 2:16 says, “But we have the mind of Christ.” This is the great mind transplant. Notice how there is no similar passage that mentions a great heart transplant or a great feelings transplant. Therefore, since we have the mind of Christ, why would we ever turn to our still fallen feelings to determine moral truth? Instead we should only turn to the very mind that Christ gave us in order to do just that. Giving feelings the wheel in guiding us to truth is foolish. It matters very little what you feel when you know something to be true.

Jeremiah 17:9 says, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” While the heart is the seat of our emotions, it is also the clearest Biblical symbol of our flesh. In contrast, the mind is the clearest Biblical symbol of our spirit. And, for the Christian, our spirit is God’s Spirit (II Timothy 1:14). And, in matters of truth, Spirit always trumps flesh. In other words, right thinking always trumps naked emotion. This is precisely why Jesus did not give us His feelings or heart like He gave us His mind. We already have the same array of emotions as Jesus had. And, He wanted to immediately renew our spirit or mind, not our flesh (Romans 12:2). Renewal of flesh happens over time and will be finished when we receive our perfect bodies in eternity. For now, we only need the mind of Christ as our guide to all truth, not the heart or the feelings of men, including Christian men.

Christians need to stop using human emotion as their guide in matters of truth. Our guide was already installed in us, the mind of Christ. It is the mind of Christ that is our spiritual GPS that needs no upgrade.