In the book of Proverbs, Solomon tells us to guard our heart. Have you ever wondered what that means and why it’s important?
To understand exactly what “guarding your heart” means, it may be helpful to read it in a few different translations. Read Proverbs 4:23 in the…
- NIV… “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.”
- Good News… “Be careful how you think; your life is shaped by your thoughts.”
- ICB (International Children’s Bible)… “Be very careful about what you think. Your thoughts run your life.”
First we have to understand that when Scripture speaks about the heart, it is speaking of your “thought life.” I sometimes refer to the heart and the mind as two separate things… and of course physically they are. But I guarantee whatever I think about, I feel one way or another in my heart… and whatever I feel in my heart, affects my thoughts.
They go hand-in-hand.
So when we are told to “guard our hearts,” we’re being told to closely monitor what we allow in. We need to make sure our affections and desires lead us down the right paths… in the right direction… and not distract us on detours that could lead us into sin.
Your heart is like a reservoir and what comes out of it determines the quality and the character of your spiritual life. If your heart is defiled, it will have consequences in your behavior, your speech, your attitudes, and every area of life.
Confused? Well let’s think about it…
- Every word that comes out of our mouth starts in our heart
- All of our actions and choices are driven by the desires of the heart.
So, what you think about… the ideas you entertain in the privacy of your own imagination… and the actions that come from them shows the true barometer of your spiritual character. Hence the advice to guard our heart!
Also consider that the word “guard” is an active word. There is nothing passive about it. It’s intentional and deliberate. And no one can do it for us.
Listen, when we guard our hearts (our minds) from the world and fill it instead with Him, we will live our spiritual lives healthy and abundantly. However, when we allow perverse or unrighteous things to penetrate our hearts (our minds), we live at odds with God and His purpose for our lives. It’s that simple.
Be on guard! Hey, I’m not a prude (trust me)… but I do caution you to:
- Be careful what movies and shows you watch
- Be careful what music you listen to (Big Hair 80’s bands not included) 🙂
- Be careful what books and magazines you read
- Be careful where you let your mind wander
- Be careful to not harbor resentment, bitterness, anger, or the like
Be careful to not get too caught up in the things of this world, because life can bring us down and our hope and joy and thoughts, too.
- I know politics are frustrating… Guard your heart
- I understand your in-laws are psycho… Guard your heart
- I get that your boss makes you want to stick a pencil in your eye… Guard your heart
- I know finances are tight… Guard your heart
Pray for an eternal perspective to help you guard your heart… above all else!