Foolish Hearts

Read This Week: Romans 1:18-32

For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools. Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them. – Romans 1:21-22, 32 NIV

Back in 1984, singer and songwriter, Steve Perry penned these words to his hit single, Foolish Heart

“Foolish heart, hear me calling. Stop before you start falling. Foolish heart, heed my warning. You’ve been wrong before, don’t be wrong anymore.” 

The angst and perilous warning of not listening to a foolish heart is seen and felt in this haunting song. But so much more is seen and felt in the Apostle Paul’s words about a foolish heart in the back half of Romans 1. 

He has already told the Roman Christians that the evidence of God and his power and righteousness can be seen and understood in human consciousness and creation. Because of this reality, Paul says that we don’t have an excuse for not recognizing, knowing, and honoring God with our lives. So, the only explanation for turning our backs on faith in God is the foolish heart willfully rejecting the truth.

This passage in Romans is clear that we do not fall into sin by accident or in some unconscious, rebellious sleepwalk. We know what is right and the way to respond to God, but we deliberately reject Him to do what we want. Paul writes in verse 21:

They knew God, but they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.

The foolish heart hears God calling but actively exchanges His truth and knowledge for all manner of evil things outlined in verses 24-31. This is a conscious decision that people make in choosing the world over God, accepting lies instead of the truth, and thinking it is better to live independently from the Creator.

The darkened heart doesn’t heed God’s warnings, and it makes fools out of us when we follow it instead of the wisdom of God. The foolish heart leads us to poor choices, destructive sin patterns, and ultimately undermines the authentic expression of Christ in the world. 

This doesn’t have to be the case. We can correspond to God’s truth and heed the warning of the Holy Spirit before we start falling. The foolish heart has been wrong before but doesn’t have to make us wrong again. We can submit to the presence and power of God to guide our lives. We can have wise hearts as we seek to know the Lord, give Him thanks, and glorify Him in our attitudes, actions, and witness to others who need Jesus.


  1. Heidi on June 5, 2020 at 3:04 pm

    Like Paul were all on a journey, a mission. It’s an adventure to bring the good news for Father God. Jesus and Paul were good examples of loving people and love to help others to grow in the ways of the Lord. We get to respond to the Father’s love, directions, help, guidance, and how to behave daily.

    Your faith is necessary daily, trusting, relying on God to help you through everything. As you learn to recognize God more and more, desire to love Him with your whole heart (your will, mind, emotions, and understanding) and learn to choose His ways other than the old nature. You get to live in His peace and joy. You are kinder, you don’t lose your temper, you have more patience. Your heart starts to be like Jesus.

    I am so thankful to God for His heart, love, and guidance to help us to be able to choose to be like Him more. God is saying to me, “It’s easy to come to me when you feel like your going the wrong way, I will help you.” Thank you, Lord!

    • Jason on June 8, 2020 at 2:39 pm

      I can personally testify to this line, Heidi: You get to live in His peace and joy. You are kinder, you don’t lose your temper, you have more patience. When I became a believer in Jesus, it was amazing how the Holy Spirit changed those things in my life.

      As I experienced his truth, peace, and joy, it had a positive effect on my temperament, attitude, and behavior. It truly is a remarkable thing to see God mold our hearts into being more like Jesus. He gives such great gifts to His children.

  2. Ken on June 5, 2020 at 3:31 pm

    When I read this chapter, it really reminds me of current events, the carnality of people. So wish that everyone loved Jesus and their lives were full of Truth and all of the benefits we get from God as Christians, all of the good, peace and joy, forgiveness, grace and mercy. it’s a good life, rather than the evil one.

    • Jason on June 8, 2020 at 1:07 pm

      I agree so much with your assertion, Ken. It is an ancient reflection of modern times, isn’t it? Jesus is truly the hope of humanity and the counter to all the ugliness we see in our world. There is hope and I pray we will be that light amid all the darkness.

  3. Jeri Centers on June 8, 2020 at 2:52 pm

    God gave me a word from Roman 1 verse 24. He was saying to me, “Our heart condition determines what we are. A wonderful person brings treasures in their heart. An evil heart desires evil. Our body, if we are Christians, is the temple of God.”

    What that means to me is if we involve our bodies in sin, we have involved the Holy Spirit’s dwelling place. That’s dishonoring to God. Remember, what God’s word is and live in your new nature not your old nature. Don’t disappoint. God loves you and He wants what is best for us. So live in your new nature.

    • Jason on June 11, 2020 at 11:41 am

      That is a fresh and unique perspective to take toward our holiness and the avoidance of sin, Jeri. When we commit sin, we intrinsically dishonor God because the very nature of sin dishonors and offends Him. But, to think of it in terms of honoring God through our temple is a practical and helpful viewpoint.

  4. almaschmidt on June 8, 2020 at 5:15 pm

    God gave me a song this Sunday from Romans chapter 1 called “Honor”:

    We honor you, honor you, honor you, our Lord
    Thanking you for the truth and your wisdom and strength

    We are blessed, blessed, blessed
    Giving us your peace, your joy, your love

    We have an awesome, awesome, awesome God
    We honor you, honor you, honor you, our Lord. Amen.

    I love to honor you, Lord. I need to put you first in everything. Sometimes I forget to, but I pray I will do better. I love you, Lord, and thank you for loving me.

    • Jason on June 11, 2020 at 11:44 am

      Thank you, as always, for expressing your heart to God through musical lyrics, Alma. Your entry this week combined with the Scriptures of Romans 1 and 2 made me think of the old song written by Rich Mullins called, “Awesome God”:

      Our God is an awesome God
      He reigns from heaven above
      With wisdom, power, and love
      Our God is an awesome God

Leave a Comment