“The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” – Jeremiah 17:9
I’ve had this verse quoted to me by Christians many times. If you’ve spent a fair amount of time around believers, then chances are you have too.
This verse is usually applied to Christians. It is used to support the idea that people’s hearts will always remain fundamentally evil.
Do you think you have an evil heart?
If you’re a Christian and think you have a dirty heart, I have good news for you: God gave you a new one.
To avoid confusion, it’s always a good idea to read Bible verses in context. Don’t stop reading at Jeremiah 17 — keep on reading.
“I will give them a heart to know me, that I am the LORD. They will be my people, and I will be their God, for they will return to me with all their heart.” – Jeremiah 24:7
When God said “all their heart” I think he meant all of it. There is are no nasty parts left in your heart. Let’s continue.
“I will give them one heart and one way, that they may fear Me always, for their own good and for the good of their children after them. I will make an everlasting covenant with them that I will not turn away from them, to do them good; and I will put the fear of Me in their hearts so that they will not turn away from Me.” – Jeremiah 32:39-40
God gave you a new heart. It wouldn’t have been very nice of him to give you a heart that is partially good and partially evil. God gave you a perfect heart.
The practical consequences of this are that you now don’t want to turn away from God. You love him. You’re not “prone to wander,” as that outdated hymn taught you. You’re prone to do good, because that’s what you desire now.
Ezekiel also prophesied of our spiritual surgery.
“I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.” – Ezekiel 36:25-26
Are you asking God to purify your heart? He already has.
But perhaps you don’t believe it. Maybe you don’t feel like it’s clean. It still is. It is by faith that our hearts are clean (Acts 15:9). Believe it and you will experience it.
Have fun exploring and enjoying the depths of your perfect new heart.