“Follow your heart,” the world tells you. You can trust your heart, right? Maybe not.
The truth is, your heart can lie. It tries to convince you, at times, that heart-fulfillment is the key to happiness. Your heart tells you that if you would just be true to it and fulfill all its desires, then you’ll be happy.
Here’s the bottom line: What your heart tells you to do is often not the right thing. From having an affair to turning to drugs, alcohol, or overeating, your heart will lie and tempt you to do things that may hurt you and others. The prophet Jeremiah put it this way, “The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who knows how bad it is?”—Jeremiah 17:9
How else does your heart deceive you? It lies to you about your true identity. This is dangerous because what you do comes out of what you believe about yourself. There are two ways to challenge the lies of the heart. First, examine the source. Second, find the solution.
Your belief system developed long before you became aware of it. You believed lies to be true, especially if you were told them by someone you trusted. These are called projected lies: When others take their hurts and project them onto someone else. Others may have said you were a mistake, burden, worthless, or unlovable. If so, you probably took these to heart.
Another source of the lies are those lies you tell yourself to survive. If you grew up in a family that was abusive or neglectful, your needs weren’t met. The very act of having a need made you vulnerable. Being vulnerable puts you in a position of being hurt. In time, as the hurts multiplied, you came up with a way to stop being vulnerable.
You may have told yourself, “I don’t need anyone.” “There’s no one to trust.” Or, “I’m not worth loving.” These lies evolved into a false belief system that may be controlling your life to this day. Eventually, you believed the lie that you can’t trust anyone; not only that, but you believed that you are unworthy of love.
So, if you have bought into the lie that no one can help you, your life will be marked by isolation and loneliness. You may turn to addiction to try to dull pain and anesthetize your feelings. However, there is a much better way to solution to the lies of the heart.
God can restore you with the truth. Ask yourself, “What is the true truth?” It is only found in God’s Word. If you haven’t read the Bible, begin to read what God’s message is to you. Start in the Gospel of John in the New Testament, or ask someone familiar with the Word to help you. This will begin the process of having true truth in your heart.
Another way to combat the lies of the heart is journaling. It can help you to be more aware of the lies, as well as help you apply God’s truth to your heart. Finally, Christian counseling is a great solution to overcome these lies. Seeing a counselor will help you recognize any lies you’ve believed; a counselor can give you biblical tools to overcome them.
You can trust God’s Word. He promises to transform your life by giving you a new heart: “And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart” (Ezekiel 36:26).
Do you need help challenging the lies of your heart? We offer The New Life Journal to help you. To order this journal or to find a counselor in your area, call 800-NEW-LIFE.
By Kimberlee Bousman