I recently was having a conversation with a friend regarding circumstances of our world and the strain these serious issues put on our lives, our decisions and some of our most significant relationships. She asked how I handled and my knee jerk response was, “The walls of my heart are high and tight. Best thing I can do so my heart itself does not actually harden.” After I said it I questioned if it was biblical. This passage came to mind. I dug a little deeper into this proverb and thought I would share today in hopes that you will keep a soft heart in the middle of hard times—as it is the well spring of our lives.
“Keep vigilant watch over your heart; that’s where life starts.
Don’t talk out of both sides of your mouth, avoid careless banter, white lies, and gossip. Keep your eyes straight ahead; ignore all sideshow distractions.Watch your step, and the road will stretch out smooth before you. Look neither right nor left; leave evil in the dust.”
Proverbs 4: 23-27
Here are the three things I heard God saying and how I’m obeying to protect my heart and keep it a well spring of life.
THREE ways to guard your heart:
1. Watch your steps. These days I'm not traveling too far. In the literal sense this part of the proverb might be lost on me in a pandemic. However I have never needed his lamp to my feet and light for my path in these days of darkness. When the scripture instructs us to be careful where we walk it's just a good reminder that we have a tendency to wander and drift. We are human. Pray and ask God to steady your steps, leading you down the right path, headed in the direction He has for you. Watch where you're going and simply walk in His way.
2. Watch your sight. Here’s the reality of the culture we are currently in. We all have a virtual microphone. We can say whatever we want, whenever we want and the interwebs will float it all over the world for anyone and everyone to see. That means our minds get lots of data, a ton of words fill us up and who knows what is actual fact. I can’t change that. But I can counter act it. I can fill myself with God’s word.
“...love is kind.” 1 Corinthians 13:4
When we break down a passage like 1 Corinthians 13:4 we have to recognize that the Love in this passage is referring to GOD. 1 John 4:8 states clearly that God is love. So this verse actually confirms that God is kind. Depending on your upbringing or church background you may have a completely different picture of who God is. Maybe he is the “big man” in the sky that is looking down just waiting to crack a ruler on your knuckles if you make a mistake. Perhaps he is distant, far away and only purpose is to create a bunch of rules that make your life less fun. Or maybe he is not really existent in your world view or your heart. Maybe you are seeking to understand who he truly is more than the caricature you read about or see on TV. “then he saved us—not because we were good enough to be saved but because of his kindness and pity—by washing away our sins and giving us the new joy of the indwelling Holy Spirit." God didn’t send his son to save us because he had to. And Jesus didn’t do it because he wanted to. He did it because he loves us. And love is kind so God is kind. Cleansing our hearts and changing us from broken to whole is deeply kind. And that's the first step. Fill your heart with this loving truth.
3. Watch your speech. Our words have the power of life and death. And these days we that applies to the fingers that type behind these screens. We can use the power of our words to honor God and lift others up. Or we can defy Him and tear people down. With our lips we are to stay away from corrupt talk. Why? comes from the heart which is the wellspring of our life. “...the mouth speaks what the heart is full of." Our words and actions all flow from our heart. This brings us back to where we started and the command to guard our heart.
God's care and kindness toward us gives these instructions to protect us from the things that distract us from our purpose and focus on what determines our lives. To take the next step toward God's purposes for you I invite you to join my Significant Life Group. This six week program designed for you to own your worth, pursue your God given purposes, ignite your passion, strengthen your relationships and build your life on a foundation of faith. There is still room for you. Register here today.