Do not “follow your soul”!

Today I saw something that made me laugh. Two little signs on the front gate of a Lutheran church read “Be like Jesus” and “Listen to your soul”

At first I was really impressed, since the first sign that I saw was “Be like Jesus”. I mean that’s a message I can really get behind. In fact it’s something I say myself, word for word. But then I caught the second little sign right beneath it, “Listen to your soul”. There’s a problem there!

I’d like to think that what this lutheran church was trying to convey was something like “Follow your heart, because Jesus is tugging at it right now. Be like him.” But it sounds too much like what we hear in the Catholic Church, “Follow your conscience”. The trouble with “listen to your soul” or “follow your conscience” is that the soul is fallen. The soul, or “the heart” is receptive to the promptings of God by grace, but the fallen soul/heart is also capable of following temptation to sin and selfishness. You can’t be like Jesus while following your soul, because you can’t follow God using a flawed navigation tool.

Follow Jesus. Ignore your soul; it’s too susceptible to the world, the flesh, and the devil.

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