“Don’t Follow Your Heart: God’s Ways Are Not Our Ways” A book review
I am not a fan of books that are collections of reflections, meditations or devotional aids, the sort of thing that is so packed with anecdotes it is hard to find that thread that supposedly holds the whole thing together. I picked up Jon Bloom’s book a month ago on the strength of a recommendation. I knew nothing about the author other than that he is connected with the “Desiring God” website http://www.desiringgod.org/ . I flicked through it, but was disappointed and put it down. It felt just like the kind of devotional book I disliked. More recently, however, I took it up again and decided to give it a fair try. I am glad I did. It is superb.
Jon Bloom is not a Dietrich Bonhoeffer, nor a G K Chesterton nor a John Flavell nor a C S Lewis, but he is able to communicate distilled biblical wisdom in an intensely practical and contemporary way.
The theme from the title is the exposure of that hopeless philosophy that says all you have to do is to follow your heart. “It is the creed embraced by millions of people. It’s a statement of faith in one of the great pop-cultural myths of the Western world – a gospel proclaimed in many of our stories, movies and songs. Essentially it’s a believe that your heart is a compass inside you that will direct you to your own true north if you just have the courage to follow it.” But Bloom says that the reality is something else. “Our hearts have sociopathic tendencies” if we actually think about it.
The 31 meditations are simple and short and many people will find them helpful. They are punctuated with pithy quotable sentences:
“When I am grumbling, I have lost touch with reality”
“The heart is a gauge not a guide”
“Your heart only tells you what you want, not where you should go”
“Our hearts cannot save us because what is wrong with our hearts is the heart of the problem”
“We find ourselves fighting an enemy that constantly seeks to alter our perception of reality…it seeks to make the most destructive things look desirable and tantalising”
“Jesus wants us to embrace the true prosperity gospel. He wants us to have treasure in heaven”
I would recommend it to any Christian, any follower of Jesus, who is seriously considering what it means to be a disciple today.