June 12, 2016

Have You Been Taught That Your Heart Is Deceitful? Then You’ve Been Taught Wrong.

I grew up hating my heart.

heart-drawingI hated what came out of it….the inconsistency of my wounded emotions and the mystery of my whirlwind thoughts.  I hated that it seems to tether me behaviors I hated even more—addictions, perfectionism, and manipulation.  I hated that it seemed broken beyond repair, and that inner pain kept sabotaging my life and relationships—all as a dedicated follower of Jesus. 

To further my “heart hate-case,” I heard scriptures like Jeremiah 17:9 preached from the pulpit, how we shouldn't listen to our hearts because they are, “hopelessly dark and deceitful, a puzzle no one can figure out.” (MSG)

Deny your emotions!

Deny your desires, they're deceitful!

If something is in your heart, you should probably do the opposite in devotion to God!

There's too much emotionalism in church and in worship!  God should only be logically rationalized with our minds!

(By the way, that scripture in Jeremiah 17 is describing the heart without God—not the heart where God resides! Talk about a scripture being used out of context!)


With my own self-hatred of my inner realm–fueled by the teaching of many churches and pastors–I had cut off my heart like I thought a good Christian girl should…..

Ignoring and shaming the very place that God chose to make His home.  

No wonder I couldn't hear God.  No wonder I couldn't feel Him.  How could I ever experience someone real and close when I had built a stone wall between us, refusing to acknowledge the place where He dwelled?



I am here to reeducate the church on the heart, because friends……we are completely heart-illiterate as Christians.  This isn't said with the intent to shame—I was right there in your shoes just two years ago—focused almost completely on my external world, all the while completely neglecting my inner realm.

I had no idea why God created my heart, or what He intended it to be.

I had no idea what was inside of it, or the components of it.

I didn't understand that my heart was speaking to me constantly, or how to decipher and understand its language.

I didn't know it was my friend, and not my enemy.


Jesus told the Pharisees, “First cleanse the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside will also be clean.”  Matthew 23:26 (NIV)  I think we have a lot to learn from this one scripture, especially since the heart is the most anthropological term in ALL of scripture, mentioned almost 1000 times throughout the Bible.  The heart is talked about more than love, more than hope, more than obedience, more than sin.

If God is talking about the heart more than anything else, then friends, its time that we prioritized the heart like God does.  It's time that we learned what the heart really is, what God intended it to be, and how to move towards it in love and kindness, instead of neglecting and shaming it for being broken.  

It's time for us to learn to be like Jesus who moves towards brokenness, and not away from it in fear and shame.


“For many years, I was afraid of unzipping my chest and taking a good look down into my heart because I saw it as a confusing enemy, always working against me.  Without warning, it would rise up with nasty traits like insecurity, anxiety, jealousy, and anger.  Now I realize that what I was afraid of when I looked inside wasn't really a few of my true self but a fear of seeing what the meat-grinder of pain had done to my heart over the years.”

-Page 47, Heart Made Whole


Your whole heart isn't deceitful, especially when the Spirit of Truth lives inside.  (John 14:17)  The unhealed pain inside your heart can deceitful because it believes its separated from love.  (And it's not, nor will it ever be).  (Romans 8:35-29). The whole reason God moved inside your broken heart was for the purpose of turning on the light, illuminating everything, and restoring all that's been lost.  (Isaiah 61, Luke 4).  He's not afraid of your pain like you might be—in fact, He's waiting for you smack dab in the middle of it.  (John 14:16-18)


Are you ready to unzip your chest, learn to connect with the Love that already lives inside, and move towards your brokenness (instead of away from it)?  If so, it's time to take a journey with me.


“If you want your life to transform, then you must first allow your heart to transform.  In order to do that, you must do what you might have avoided.  You must start paying close attention to your heart through the lens of the Holy Spirit. The building of your heart was never intended to be ignored and forgotten while life continues to smash it up.  It was created to flourish in surrender, to be cleansed with salvation, healed by heaven, rebuilt with grace, and occupied by Love.  Your heart was intended to be the safe house where you coexist in relationship with the Trinity who lives inside.  When this dance of unity between your original self and God happens, pure life can't help but pour out of the secret place.

Friend, no matter how long your heart has hosted deep pain, endured the monsters that feasted on your soul, and felt shattered by the wrecking balls of trauma, I have amazing news for you.  

The most powerful person in the universe is already waiting inside, and if you let Him, He will restore everything that pain has stolen from your life, binding up your broken heart and teaching you to walk in freedom.”  -‘Heart Made Whole', pg 55


HeartMade3DPaper_MediumThis is a journey you were never meant to take alone.  Subscribe to my email newsletter, and let me equip you with resources on your inner exploration.  Pick up your copy of Heart Made Whole and find out who you really are.  It's time for you to be a heart expert, know what's inside of it, but most importantly….

Find out how to fully connect with the Love that is waiting for you inside.

(At the request of a comment below, I have gone back to ADD more scripture since this is sure to hit a few nerves.)


Signature CBGxx,


13 Responses to “Have You Been Taught That Your Heart Is Deceitful? Then You’ve Been Taught Wrong.”

      • Christa Black Gifford

        I Cor 6:13—you’re the temple of the Holy Spirit and His spirit lives in you. How can the spirit portion of your heart (and the Biblical heart encompasses both the spirit and soul)…how can the spirit portion of your heart be deceitful with the Holy Spirit living inside? He is the Spirit of Truth. No wonder we can’t hear God when we cut off our hearts.

        Isaiah 61—as Isaiah prophesies over the coming Messiah, He tells us that He’s coming to bind up our broken heart and bring freedom for the prisoner. (Then Jesus proclaims his ministry publicly in Luke 4 by reading the scrolls in Isaiah).

        If you read the historical context of the scripture in Jeremiah, it’s describing the heart WITHOUT God, then goes onto say…’But I, God, search the heart and examine the mind. I get to the heart of the human, to the root of things. I treat them as they really are, not as they pretend to be.”

        Then in Samuel 16:7, Man looks at the outward appearance, God looks at the heart.

        Bottom line, we have been taught to ignore our hearts in the church….and Jesus said that the kingdom was within us in Luke 7:21. Why are we ignoring the place where God made His home? How can my heart be deceitful when it houses the very presence of God?

        If this wasn’t enough scripture for you, I encourage you to buy the book. (: There’s much more scripture with historical context. Think it would help much more than this.

  1. Christy Huskins

    I bought the book and can’t wait to get my hands on it when it finally arrives this week. I’ve been listening to your podcasts and it speaks volumes into my life and heart. I’ve always dealt with inadequacy and anxiety. I always hated when my emotions were in order. I was taught young to keep them inside. Don’t show so much emotion or don’t get too happy. ( not by the church). I was sexually assaulted at 6 and then again a couple years later by my girl babysitter. I was confused at a very young age and didn’t understand. But I can say that even though I have grown so much in the past few years there are parts of my heart that I let no one in including my husband and God. So I cannot wait to read his book. I’m believing it will help me into true healing of my heart and be completely made whole in the process God is taking me in.

  2. Shannon Jennings

    I can’t tell you how timely this is! I feel like God led me to your podcast, book, and blog at just the perfect time for the journey He’s taking me on right now to shed light and love on unhealed places of my heart. I literally say something like “that’s it exactly!” every time I read something of yours. It’s always freaking perfect timing to something I’ve just felt the Holy Spirit saying and helps me validate, understand, and explore it more. Thank you, thank you, thank you for these amazing resources! <3

  3. Patcine

    Yay!!! So glad you wrote this out! {I asked the question in the launch team FB page} and literally had NO IDEA that verse was towards unbelievers until you explained to me! It was like the biggest Light bulb flipped on. I am going back through and re-reading your book now with this knowledge because I was so distracted and confused the first time through trying to reverse my mentality I had been taught about not following or listening to my heart. Thanks for this blog post!!

  4. Yooinn Hong

    I think we have to “admit” before God what is in our heart, good and ugly, without censoring or suppressing. He scared the crap out of me when I pretended I was holy and mature and tried to ignore my bitter feelings toward Him. But at the same time, we should not give it the authority to make decisions for our lives without discernment. (e.g. when heart wants vengeance)
    I always try to say to God “It is very important to me. I want you to give it to me/not to take it away from me.” But I also remind Him/myself that I love Him and ask Him do anything that pleases Him because that is exactly what I want. This is different from denying/ignoring I used to do.

  5. Shandy

    Love this!!! So well said. We are often taught in the Church to deny our feelings, and deny what our hearts are saying because they can be deceiving. I actually have believed for a long time that the reason a lot of Christian people end up in Psychiatric care, etc. is because they are called as intercessors and have felt things and saw things and been given Prayer assignments, that they have not known how to steward and are in a fight of denying and trying not to feel, that it becomes too much for them to handle. I’ve been in a place like this many times before in the Church, where we hear things like “You shouldn’t feel this way”, or “You can’t follow your heart, it will lead you wrong”. Funny how God actually speaks more of the heart than the head, and created us to have relationships which is more about heart than head. 🙂 Keep up the awesome writing Christa!!! WE NEED TO NOT JUST HEAR THIS STUFF, BUT REALLY BELIEVE IT!! “Head to Heart”. 🙂

  6. Cyle Augusta Tucker Lewis

    This post has been at the pinnacle of my thoughts since I read and re-read it last night. As I process and discuss with my husband, we wanted to ask you if you’d be interested in writing a similar post directed at worship leaders over at a site we manage. We can give you more details about the idea of the post and promoting your new book via e-mail, do you have an e-mail where we could contact you? Feel free to e-mail me @ or private message on FB if that works best.

  7. Suvi-Tuulia Kulmala

    I’ve been listening to your podcasts Head to heart and been completely wrecked by them, THANK YOU! Everything you write and speak is like an ocean of healing, crashing over my heart and soul over and over again! I could honestly wrote a novel of the ways your material has impacted me…and maybe someday I will ha! But I also have a question: I missed the pre-order deal for the Heart made whole book, but would love to purchase the meditational songs you mention in your podcast. Are they available somewhere for me to buy?

    Keep doing exactly what you are, you are a true hero and champion of faith!!


  8. Dear Christa, you have no idea how your book and blogs are changing my life. My story and yours are almost identical except the eating-stuff. I struggled for 40(!) years with abuse, sel-hatred, addictions… I went to many so called deliverance-sessions and what I got was a religious trauma on top of all. However I somehow read your books and here in Switzerland we are so touched by the way of heart made whole. And Im finally befriending my heart and get really healed. Thankyou

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“I had planned to end my life, but chose to give it one last shot and signed up for the Master Heart Course. I finally found what I was looking for. My life has changed in ways I could never could put into words, being healed far beyond what I could imagine. I have a long way to go, but this course literally saved my life..”