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3 Key Ways To Guard Your Heart

One of the most famous scriptures in the Bible tells us to guard our hearts. However, what is our heart and what do we need to guard it against? Today I go a bit deeper into this thought and look at how to win the battle for and inside our hearts.
Guard Your Heart

Your heart is like a wellspring.  Your emotions flow from it. Love, anger, and joy all emanate from it.  The combination of your will, emotions, and mind. Your heart can be a superpower for you in life and it can be your greatest weakness.   Your heart can lead you to lash out in anger, cry over something silly and Is it any wonder the wisest man that walked the earth wrote one of the most famous passages of scripture ever?  Your heart isn’t just a ball of emotions, but rather emotions that come from thoughts.  Some psychologists would call your heart your subconscious.

Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.Proverbs 4:23 NIV

The NLT version says, the heart”determines your life.”

Your Heart Is Like A Spring

If you think of your heart like a fresh spring of emotions.  You’ll quickly see how it directs your life.    A water spring occurs naturally thoughout the world.   Underneath the Earth’s surface are rocks and sediment that collect water like a sponge.  As they taken in too much water the sponge overflows creating a spring.   Although the water goes through a natural filtering process it still contains elements of what was originally absorbed.  Natural spring water can have calcium and iron which are good for our bodies.  However, it can also contain arsenic or even radioactive materials!

You heart is like this.  Each of us have layers and layers of “life events” that create little sponges that attract water to it.   As it comes out it comes with contamanates that could very well be poisonous.   Unfortunately, our hearts take in whatever your eyes and ears have been exposed to.   It doesn’t descriminate.  Like a sponge it just soaks up life.

Why You Should Guard Your Heart

The second part of Solomon’s proverb tells us why.  Our heart can determine our life!  What makes matters worse, your heart can’t be trusted.  Here’s what Jeremiah says,

The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it isJeremiah 17 NLT

When marketing professionals design advertising good ones target your heart.  They want to motivate you to make a purchase decision.  The best movies are the ones that make you “feel” a certain way.   Make no mistake, the enemy of our soul knows that he can take us out by attacking our heart.   He understands all he needs to do is poison the water.  Your heart will take it in as it knows no different.

As a Christian, you have a breastplate of righteousness.  The breastplate is the piece of armor that protects your heart.  This right standing with God means you fend off these attacks.  However, the armor may protect you from dying.  Whether or not you stand there while you get pelted by arrows is up to you.

Guard Your Heart From Injurying Others

When someone is placed under guard it’s most often to protect them from enemies.  However, in many cases, people under guard are also being held in order to protect the public.   In this instance, Solomon was right.  If unchecked you could easily hurt others because of what your heart has been exposed to.   Most of the time when we hurt others it’s unintentional.  It’s from an outpouring of our heart.  If we’re doing it consistently it’s become a kind of “culture” to us.   If you need to change your heart check out my post about corporate culture.  As Solomon says, you must guard your heart because what you do starts there.

How To Guard Your Heart

Guarding your heart requires vigilance.   The enemy knows it doesn’t take much for you to absorb negative experiences.  Solomon knew this well.  However, his proverb didn’t end with this one verse he follow it up with other verses for you to take action with.

Keep your mouth free of perversity; keep corrupt talk far from your lips. Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you. Give careful thought to the[c] paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways. Do not turn to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil.Proverbs 4 NIV

Guard Your Communication

Keep your mouth free of perversity; keep corrupt talk far from your lips.

Death and life are in the power of the tongue.  Watching what you say will go a long way to preventing future hurts.  However, it also will keep you from hurting yourself uneccessarily.  As Paul writes in Ephesians, “Let know unwholesome talk come out of your mouth, except that which edifies others.”  Your mouth is mean to encourage.   Jesus would say that your what comes out of your mouth reflects what’s in your heart.

Guard Your Attention

Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you.

Probably the most practical advice you can receive from this scripture.  If you are watching things that put fear or lust in your heart then that’s what you’re going to get.  Jesus said in Matthew 12:35, “A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him.”  

Guard Your Actions

Give careful thought to the[c] paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways. Do not turn to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil.”

Sometimes you make mistakes with your words or with what you see or hear. Sometimes you can’t control the environment you’re in.  However, you can make a choice whether you take action or not.   Are your actions bringing you closer to God or further away.    Are you renewing your mind and heart by thinking on Godly things or are you feeding yourself impurities that will continue to spring up causing you be in a constant state of internal war?

The Bible talks a lot about the heart because it has the power to cause us success or failure in life.  The only way to guard your heart is to be intentional and vigilant in these 3 areas.  Your communication, what you pay attention to and your actions.

 

 

 

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