God Knows My Heart

Yes, this is the obligatory February post related to the heart, in honor of Valentine’s day. But, it’s not about romantic relationships or love, really.


At this point in your life it is very likely that you have either said or heard the phrase “God Knows My Heart”. Most people say it in the context of them doing something wrong, or acting beneath the expectations of others.  They’ll say things like “I know I ain’t been at church in 3 Sundays, but God knows my heart.” It’s almost like we think God gives us an excused absence or a pass for our misdoings, because we assume He knows we have good intentions.

The thing about this saying is that, it actually is true. God does really know your heart. But what we think He knows, or what we hope He focuses on, is different than what He actually sees. 

The word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. Hebrews 4:12

When God talks about knowing our heart, he really knows it. He can see past what you do or don’t do and He gets to the why of it all. He is more concerned about why you aren’t going to church, than He is about whether or not you show up. You can be sitting in church service with hatred toward someone in your heart. So the person showing up with hate and no conviction about it is no better than the person who stays home. Attending church services is pointless if you aren’t there to address the condition of your heart. Your appearance or outward actions aren’t always indicative of the person you really are, and that’s what God really knows.

But the Lord said to Samuel “Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7

We tend to look at people, the way they dress or even the personality they present in certain environments, and we construct notions about how good or bad they are. While only God can see their hearts and their true intentions. If you watch and discern long enough, their true intentions will eventually be evident to you, as well. My point here is, just like in the story of David, don’t think you know someone based on how they look or what you see them do. The person who seems to have the support of the masses could very well be the least qualified for what they’re trying to do. I mean look at our Pres…

The heart is more deceitful than all else And is desperately sick; Who can understand it? I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind, Even to give to each man according to his ways, According to the results of his deeds. Jeremiah 17:9-10

Have you ever wondered why it seems that people get away with doing terrible things? I’ve heard someone say “How could they do that; they’re heartless.”. Maybe they aren’t heartless. Perhaps their heart is so damaged that their heart deceived them into committing a terrible act.

God doesn’t allow us to “get away” with the wrong we do. He actually makes wise judgments about what’s in our heart, and He makes good decisions about us. He knows that our heart carries experiences and that we tend to make decisions from those experiences. The scripture describes the heart as desperately sick. God knows the traumas, disappointments, and circumstances that have shaped us. So yes, in this case, God knows our hearts. And because he knows our hearts, He is able to determine the root of our misdeeds.

For I know my transgressions,
And my sin is ever before me.

Against You, You only, I have sinned
And done what is evil in Your sight,
So that You are justified when You speak
And blameless when You judge.

Psalm 51:3-4

Above, David realized that he had done wrong, and he knew who ultimately would hold him accountable for it. He may have been faced with the judgment of others, but instead of saying “Well, God knows my heart.”, he went directly to God and repented. We often spend too much time explaining to people what we should be confessing to God. There’s no need to defend yourself when you’ve gone to the Father and repented.

Now that we understand that God truly does know our hearts, and the extent to which He knows it, we find that it’s unnecessary to get rid of the phrase. I must say, before I thought of it this way, I hated the phrase and thought people shouldn’t say it. My hope is that people are saying it with this context.

What do you think about the phrase “God Knows My Heart”? I’d love if you shared your response in the comments.


One thought on “God Knows My Heart

  1. I’m definitely in the boat that this phrase is just an excuse. I feel like people say it because they don’t want to say the real reasons they do certain things (like you said!). But, after reading your post, I won’t write these people off though because there IS something deeper in the why. And so many times, people get ignored or painted as lost causes when they really could use a friend or counseling for the “why.”

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