In Proverbs 4:23, Scripture says this about the heart: “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” Did you notice the words “Above all else”? This means that nothing is more important in life than guarding your heart.
Okay, so what does it mean to guard your heart?
1) To guard your heart means to protect it from all harm. What is harmful to the heart? Anything that could cause your heart to become polluted. What causes the heart to become polluted? Anything that is the opposite of truth and love. What is the opposite of truth and love? The lie and fear.
The lie is the opposite of the truth. The lie destroys our hearts and, by extension, our lives and our relationships. Every problem we are facing has, at its root, a lie. Usually, we are not aware of the lie, but, nonetheless, it is wreaking havoc in our lives. The lie is often hidden in a belief that is contrary to truth. The lie reveals itself in the form of negative thoughts, negative emotions, and negative actions.
By the same token, fear is the opposite of love. Fear also destroys our hearts and, by extension, our lives and our relationships. Fear manifests itself in anger, rage, depression, criticism, shame, and guilt.
Bottom-line, anything that does not line up with truth and anything that does not line up with love will pollute your heart. Truth and love: These are the indicators of a healthy heart. The lie and fear: These are the indicators of an unhealthy heart.
2) To guard your heart , then, means knowing what truth and love are. How can you know what truth and love are? Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life’ (John 14:6). To know Jesus is to know Truth. How can you know Jesus? By studying His Word. Jesus and His Word (the Bible) are one and the same. As you study God’s Word, you will get to know, apprehend, and comprehend Jesus.And as you get to know, apprehend, and comprehend Jesus, you will get to know, apprehend, and comprehend Truth. In like manner, Scripture tells us that “God is love” (I John 4:8). Jesus is God; therefore, He is Love. As you get to know Jesus, you will get to understand the true meaning of love. By making Jesus the center of our lives we can guard our hearts.
3) To guard your heart means to keep it full of truth and love so that your every thought, word, and deed will be motivated by truth and love. When your thoughts, words, and deeds are motivated by truth and love, you will experience the good life for which God created you. You will then know what it means to be joyful, content, and fulfilled.
Remember this: The lie is the ultimate enemy of the heart. Fear flows out of the lie. Love flows out of truth. Keep truth and love as the guiding principles of your life, and you will succeed in guarding your heart.
Questions: Have you, like me, struggled with guarding your heart? What practical steps do you take to guard your heart? You may leave a comment by clicking here.
Copyright 2015 by MaryAnn Diorio, PhD. All Rights Reserved.
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