Guard Your Heart
“Guard Your Heart”
Dear Faith Family,
Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life, (Proverbs 4:23).
I just read a story about an unexpected light show on a New Jersey highway, (upi.com). Seems that a truck caught fire on Monday and its contents lit up! It’s contents? Fireworks! A little heat, a little fire and it didn’t take long for the drivers behind the truck to discover what was inside the truck’s trailer.
Solomon told us to keep our hearts with all vigilance (guard them). Sounds good. But until we answer the question, “How do we guard our hearts?”, we will have a hard time practicing what he preached. So, how do we guard our hearts?
The heart is the core, the source of who we are. It’s where we think about who we are. It is out of our core, our heart, that we speak and act. If you want to know what’s being stored in your heart, expose it to a little heat, a little fire. It won’t take long to find out what’s being stored inside the heart.
So how do we guard it? The place to start is with the One who is able to both examine and heal the heart. David asked God to both search his heart (Psalm 139:23) and to create in him a clean heart (Psalm 51:10). Are you willing for God to expose an x-ray of your heart? Do you want Him to clean it? Jesus can. Jesus will.
And, moving forward, I think there are some practices that will help us to guard our hearts.
Feed your heart healthy food. Namely? The Word of God. Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things, (Philippians 4:8). If you feed your heart junk food, it will not thrive. And, that junk will show up in our words and our actions.
Protect your heart from bitterness. Practice forgiveness. Offer forgiveness as an extension of Christ’s forgiveness. You know, consider how much He’s forgiven you and extend that forgiveness to others (Ephesians 4:32). Has somebody wronged you? There, that name, the one that just popped into your mind. Will you forgive them? Not because they deserve it, but because Jesus paid for it.
One more practice? There’s more, I know. But one more for today. Practice gratitude. It will guard your heart from self-pity, frustration, maybe even despair. Make a daily practice of giving thanks to God not only for the “easy” stuff that you understand, but also for the “hard” stuff that you don’t understand. So, where can you begin right now? Thank you God for….
With His help, standing guard