Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life. Proverbs 4:23
In reading today’s passage (albeit loaded), I wanted to narrow it down to verse 23. God commands that we guard our hearts in the way we treat them, what we do with them and lastly, why we must guard it.
Before I can guard my heart, I must understand it. God isn’t speaking about my physical heart…the organ that pumps blood into the rest of my body, keeping me alive. I am made of two parts – a body and a soul. This heart is speaking of my spirituality; my soul.
The Bible refers to both the outward (body) and inward (soul) parts of man. While my body is important, it is not the most important part of me. My soul is.
Imagine a box with a precious jewel inside. Wouldn’t you think it ridiculous if the person who owned such a thing thought more of the box than what was inside?
God sees us in such a way. We are precious jewels to Him – our “hearts” are. My soul is the real me; not what you see on the outside. I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase “It’s what’s on the inside that counts,” and it’s the same with God. We must also remember that our souls (hearts) will go on, but the body will not. It’s only temporary here on this terrestrial planet. And because of this fallen world, we have all the more reason to guard that precious part of us.
God tells us to guard our hearts; to keep them. We are to watch over it; to think about it on a constant basis; to protect it.
Wouldn’t you want to keep that same aforementioned gift/jewel safe? I know I’d be a fool if I didn’t.
The same is true with my heart.
We must keep our minds, our will, our affections, our consciences, and our memories in line with the things of God.
Our minds master our reasoning, deciding what is good and what is bad; choosing the way in life. We are to treat it as if it is something of importance and we are to cultivate our minds by teaching ourselves to think right thoughts. Meditate on the ten commandments. Love your neighbor as yourself. Do unto others as you would have done to you.
The will…I often think of it as that second voice…in other words, the Holy Spirit – guiding me. I may feel that I need (or rather, think I do) something when, after further consideration and prayer, realize that it wouldn’t be good for me after all. It’s that second voice that tells you to stop. Granted, with free will, we can choose to ignore it or move forward…the decision which will bring about either outcome.
Our affections – what do you allow yourself to love? Our character shows the things that we love and that things that we hate. Do we give freely to our church or other charity? Or do we hoard it all for ourselves like Ebenezer Scrooge? Ask yourself…What do you love most?
When we keep our heart, it means that we must endeavor at all costs to keep our conscience. Of course, in doing so, you will obtain both enemies and true friends, but at the cost of your soul? It’s so worth it!
Finally, our memory. We must keep it full of the things of God’s word and how He directs us to live. This is key in guarding our hearts so that our lives will be full of character, integrity, clean thoughts and actions – thus showing where our hearts truly lie.
Guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.
It is the wellspring of all life. Keep it. Guard it. Nurture it. Focus is on the things of God.