Oprah appeared on Good Morning America yesterday ostensibly to chat about her new Disney movie “A Wrinkle in Time.” But as everything seems to do with Oprah Winfrey these days, her appearance quickly morphed into an opportunity for the new age spiritualist to evangelize others to her syncretistic humanism.
During a portion of the interview set aside for audience questions, a well-spoken and polite young lady asked Oprah,
“What is some advice you would give girls who look like me (the young lady was black) who want to make a change or be the change in the world?”
To her great credit, the media titan disarmed the loaded “girls who look like me” qualifier and said her advice to young women is the same regardless of how they look. It was a small nod to real reconciliation and societal healing from our deepening racial divides, and it was quite appropriate.
Unfortunately she kept going and unleashed this brutal nugget straight from the bowels of Hell:
“The highest honor on earth that you will ever have is the honor of being yourself…People think your job is to get up and go and raise money and take care of your family and stuff. That’s an obligation you have, but your only true job as a human being is to discover why you came, why you are here.
And every one of us has an internal guidance, a GPS, an intuition, a heart print, a heart song that speaks to us. And your only job is to be able to listen and discern when it’s speaking versus your head and your personality speaking.
And if you follow that, you will be led to the highest good for you, always. That’s why all the voices of the world mean nothing if your voice is in alignment with all the voices of the world.”
This is the Whitney Houston advice: “learning to love yourself is the greatest love of all.” It remains one of the saddest depictions of the folly behind such thought that all the self-love in the world couldn’t keep Houston’s life from collapsing in suicidal tragedy.
And while I highly doubt that this young lady who heard Oprah’s nationally televised, raucously applauded advice to follow her heart to the “highest good” is likely to ever read it, I feel compelled as an ambassador of Christ to offer this precious soul something she was denied by Winfrey: the truth.
And the truth is that, “the heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure” (Jeremiah 17:9). The Son of God Himself tells us that, “out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander” (Matthew 15:19).
If we truly listen to our hearts we will notice something similar about all its prompting, all its advice, all its urging: it all focuses on serving me. Our hearts are fatally selfish, perverting every good thing with the poison of lust. When followed and pursued, it will lead us down a path of self-indulgence that ends in misery, grief, and despair. There is no more unreliable GPS for our lives than that which is calibrated completely to our own selfish desires and cravings. Yet that is our heart, luring us towards a way that seems right but that ends in death (Proverbs 14:12).
Oprah speaks of the need to find why we are here as human beings. She’s not wrong in that; it’s just that she has not yet found it. We are all here to serve the Kingdom of God, created to worship Him and adore Him in spirit and in truth (John 4:24). We can’t do that when we are leaning on our own understanding. Instead we must trust in God with all our hearts, acknowledging Him in all our ways (Proverbs 3:5-6), thus making His will our internal GPS, calibrating our sense of purpose and meaning solely on the unchanging truth of His sovereign goodness.
The truth is, Oprah’s advice was merely a frighteningly well articulated restatement of the serpent’s lie in the Garden of Eden – the false promise that we can be gods of our own private universes. We’ve tried that, it hasn’t worked, and regardless of whether or not Oprah approves, there is a better way. And that better way tells us not to trust our hearts to save us, but instead to trust in God to save us from our hearts.