Follow Your Heart? Yeah, Maybe You Should.

I have a confession to make: I am pretty into Pinterest.

I have a board for my one day wedding, one for crafts, one for recipes, style inspiration and of course a “Words of Inspiration” board.

While I have been on Pinterest, I have found a lot of pins like this:

And links to buy cool etsy gifts like this:

I’ve heard this advice before. One of the most popular high school anthems that me and my friends would blast school dances was called “Listen to Your Heart.” You can listen to it here in all it’s glory.

It’s a phrase that gets thrown around a lot, sometimes in some pretty weird situations. As great as it sounds, following your heart isn’t a good reason to stop being kind to an annoying friend, or breaking a commitment at school or at home. I don’t think it can really be used as an excuse to hook-up or get drunk or shoplift or break any law, either. There’s really not an excuse to do any of those things… good actions usually don’t need any Pinterest quote to make them sound like a good idea.

But at the same time, following your heart isn’t necessarily bad advice either. God gave us our hearts and the Bible talks about how good and important the heart is (Proverbs 4:23). But what exactly does my heart tell me to do? What is my heart saying to me?

I decided to do some research. I googled the human heart and what showed up was a lot less images of Pinterest quotables and more biology diagrams. After scrolling through websites, watching youtube videos, and event looking at some textbook anatomy diagrams, it turns out that following your heart is pretty good advice, at least at a biological perspective.

Let me explain.

The human heart is made to keep good blood flowing through your body so you you stay alive.

The process works like this: almost five thousand times a day, your heart receives blood from the rest of your body through the veins. Then your heart enriches the blood with oxygen, and pushes the good blood through the arteries back into your body.

It is a continual process of taking in and pushing out.
Of being filled and then emptied.
Of receiving and then giving.

It sounds a lot like the way Jesus lived.

In Philippians, Paul talks about how Jesus who, being God, was full of grace and life, chose to empty himself out on the cross so that we could receive grace and life through him. (Philippians 2:5-8).

I think it is the same for our lives. We are made to be filled up every day and then go out to empty ourselves out for others.

We can and should find ways to be filled up every day, whether that’s through music, sports, belly-laughs, family time, or prayer.

Then, filled up with good things, we can give back, empty ourselves, and give life to the other people in our lives.

Both are important:
The taking in and the pushing out.
The receiving and the giving
The being filled and the being emptied.

So in the end, I think Pinterest and that 80s song gets it right. The very biology of our own hearts shows us the way to live a good life, to live like Jesus.

So let’s do it together. Let’s commit to doing something everyday that will fill us up and something that gives back.

Let’s live like Jesus. Let’s follow our heart.