Above All Else? Guard Your Heart
Oh, the heart. Most notably, known for keeping us alive. But if we’re not careful, our hearts can be known to get us into trouble, too.
The heart has long been considered the innermost part, the center of our thoughts, feelings, emotions, the vital part, or essence of us.
Like many, oh how I can relate to that. My heart has been a cause for anxiety, and anguish. I\’ve loved and lost. And I frequently run away with my thoughts— so let’s add to my list of self-doubt, at times, doubt in God, anger, frustration— thoughts of what if I’m not good enough, and, even worse, what if I’m living the Christian life wrong. I’m an overthinker, an over-analyzer, and at times an over-reactor. Then, suddenly, amid my racing mind, Jesus comes to my rescue again, telling me to be quiet and set my thoughts above on him and his grace and mercy.
John 10:10 (NIV), Jesus tells us, “ The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” This also includes the lies the thief gets us to believe about what comes from our hearts, those intrusive thoughts, feelings, emotions.
Here are some hearts to think about, both bad, and good:
Jeremiah 17:9— deceitful and sick
Mark 17:21— evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery
Romans 1:21— foolish
Romans 3:10-18— deceiving tongues, venom of asps under lips, curses, and bitterness
In Contrast to:
Psalm 119:11— hiding the Word in your heart
Proverbs 17:22— A cheerful heart
Romans 10:10— A heart that believes
Colossians 3:11— setting our hearts on heaven
Psalm 51:10— A clean heart
Ezekiel 36:26— the removal of an old heart and old spirit, and given a new heart and spirit
Mark 21:30— Loving God with all your heart
So how can we guard our hearts?
In Proverbs 4:23 Solomon tells us to guard our hearts above all else, making sure we concentrate on those desires that will keep us on the right path. We need to make sure our affections push us in the right direction. We need to put boundaries on our desires, feelings, emotions and such. We shouldn\’t go after everything we see or feel, keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus and our goal of eternity with him. Not on things that may cause us to get sidetracked or detours that lead to sin.
Reflection: What message can you take away from today\’s readings and verses? How can you apply the message? How\’s your heart?
Originally published on October 28, 2020