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Proverbs 18: Follow Your Heart?

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I grew up watching a lot of the traditional Disney classics. I still like them now, but there is one thing that is theologically troubling about most if not all of these films. It seems as if every character is always advised by some old-mentor type person or animal to follow his or her heart. Just look inside, and you will find the answer you’re looking for.

I have a problem with that because the human heart is not a very good thing on its own. Apart from God, there is nothing good in us. Proverbs 18 has some strong words to say about this kind of thing.

Pro 18:2  A fool hath no delight in understanding, but that his heart may discover itself.

A fool doesn’t really care about true understanding. A fool only cares about his or her own opinions. A fool only looks into his or her own heart to find out what course of action to take. Sorry Disney princesses, but your mentors did not have the best advice.

When it comes to decision-making, we have already gone over some very Biblical advice. If we want to make good decisions, we need to start with the fear of the Lord.

Pro 1:7  The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.

The answers to making decisions do not come from your heart. If you are on your own making decisions without God being involved, then it isn’t going to work out all that well. God brings the wisdom, and by reading the Bible and by being sensitive to that wisdom, we will get a lot farther than we would by listening to our heart.

I totally understand the idea of listening to your heart, and I understand that the intent of those movies is more to teach young people and not be swayed by others. It seems to be more of a message against peer pressure, but in actuality, I think that we need to be careful with this message.

Jer 17:9  The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?

Proverbs 14: The Existence of Sin

I know that people don’t want to admit it, but I think that one of the most obvious facts in the Bible is that people do make mistakes. There is sin in this world, and no one is immune from it. I know that some people may argue what is a sin and what isn’t, but that’s not so much what I want to talk about today.

We are in Proverbs 14, and there is one verse that stood out to me.

Pro 14:9  Fools make a mock at sin: but among the righteous there is favour.

The English is a little bit awkward in the King James translation, so let me provide you with the English Standard Version as well.

Pro 14:9  Fools mock at the guilt offering, but the upright enjoy acceptance.

Fools are the ones who don’t seem to understand this sin nature. Using the word mock is very strong here. It isn’t just fools are ignoring their sin or are not participating in the guilt offering. They are actively making a joke of these things that are actually serious.

I would go as far as to say that these people are in denial. Again, I think that sin is rather self-evident. I think that we all recognize that we all have done something that wasn’t right at some point in our lives. We can all think of some person that we did not treat right for example.

Perhaps these people don’t think that they need any kind of forgiveness. To be honest, that might be the biggest problem here. These people do not realize that by committing that offense, they are guilty before God. They might make amends with the person they hurt here on earth, but they don’t understand that they need forgiveness from the Lawgiver that they have violated as well.

I don’t know which of my two hypotheses are true. I don’t know if these people actually deny the existence of sin or if they only deny the need for forgiveness from God. For the first ones, I don’t know how to help them. For the second ones, I think this is where you need to begin by explaining the existence of God and why the Christian God is the one true God. If you can establish that, then the fact that we need His forgiveness should come out from that based on what we now about the God of the Bible.