The Heart

Scripture pulls no punches in Jeremiah 17 verse 9. We are told that the heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. As we read on to Jeremiah 17 verse 10, we learn that only God can search the heart and mind and know its true intentions and motives. He alone can reward us for our deeds.  

If we are inherently bent towards sin, it stands to reason that we will always need to swim against the tide of our natural inclinations – including our natural inclination to take up idols and swap God out for something else to worship. 

In essence, our hearts can be idol factories, churning out the next best thing to worship rather than focusing our adoration on the One who deserves it and can handle it.  

The more aware we are of our human tendency to stray from God and worshipping Him alone – in whatever form that may take – the more we can battle against it. 

When work tries to become our focus, we can catch it before it becomes an idol and redirect our efforts to God and His Kingdom. 

When our spouse, child or loved one becomes our sole reason for living, we can be mindful of our error and adjust our affections accordingly. 

There is nothing wrong with working hard or caring deeply for our loved ones, but when they become more important to us that the One who created us, we have an issue. 

Keep watch over your heart friends, remembering that left to its own devices it can lead us away from the One who loves us the most.    

The heart is deceitful above all things
    and beyond cure.
    Who can understand it?

(Jeremiah 17:9 NIV) 


  1. How does the biblical perspective described in Jeremiah 17:9 contrast with popular cultural beliefs that often emphasise following one’s heart or instincts? 
  2. How crucial is it for Christians to seek God’s guidance and align their decisions and desires with His Word rather than relying solely on their own understanding or emotions?  
  3. How does the New Testament’s teachings on salvation and the work of the Holy Spirit address the issue of the deceitful heart described in Jeremiah 17:9? Discuss how God’s grace and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit enable believers to navigate the challenges posed by the deceitfulness of the human heart and live transformed lives in accordance with God’s truth and righteousness. 

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