“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” – Proverbs 4:23
At some point, we will all say something we wish we had not said. You wonder whether you are doing the right thing when you feel the words just chomping at the bit to escape from your lips. They want out so badly. It is just an insult, or a jab or quip, but you just can’t suppress it…you can’t contain the words. They have a power of their own. You know that the words will achieve no positive goal, but you just sigh and let them go. And usually, a few seconds later you wish you could keep your tongue in control. The Bible tells us that controlling the tongue is a heart issue.
There is a spiritual connection between the heart and the tongue. The heart is your data base and your mouth is your outlet; when pressure comes, whatever is in the heart will come forth. It is not a matter of training your mouth what to say but building and guiding your heart.
Scripture tells us to guard our hearts because it is the source of our life. It is the essence of who you are. It is your authentic self—the core of your being. It is where all your dreams, your desires, and your passions live. It is that part of you that connects with God and other people. Out of the heart come all our motives, desires, motivations, and our words. We are to barricade our heart against anything or anyone else that seek to claim it because our heart belongs to God. Only God can have permission to lead, guide, and instruct our hearts. That is why we must safeguard it. We must diligently and consciously protect it from invasion other than God.
It naturally asks the question of what are you allowing to shape it? There is no shortage of people or things that want to lay claim to our hearts. But they can only possess it with our permission. If something or someone has taken hold of it, it is because we have let down our guard and let him/her/it in. As Christ-followers we must become intentional in guarding our heart against anything that is contrary to scripture. Rather, we must focus on what enables us to be more like Jesus.
In Proverbs, Solomon reveals the outcome of pathways chosen. Many of the verses in Proverbs offers us hope as it looks to the desired end of our lives and challenges us to think backward along its logical course. How do we want our lives to end? In what areas do we really want to succeed at all costs? The path we take today will lead us there. It attempts to provide us some perspective. And when you have that perspective, and when your eyes are fixed on the prize, you will better guard your heart.
Guard your heart by sharpening your ability to draw closer to God. These will help you guard your heart because you will be spending your energy on Him. Remember, as goes your heart, goes your life.
- Why is it so important to guard your heart? Why is it important that we address any issues at the source rather than downstream?
- Read Matthew 22:37-38: What is the first and greatest commandment concerning the heart?