The Heart - Part 2
What does the Bible mean when it says we should guard our hearts?
Proverbs 4:23 says "Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life."
The word "springs" in that verse could also be translated as "forces", "boundaries" or "issues".
This verse and this word prove that we can control the direction of our lives. It's all a matter of what we allow in our hearts.
Luke 6:45 tells us "The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart."
This should make us ask the question, "What is my heart filled with?" or "What am I allowing to fill my heart?" Because what fills our hearts is what will come out of our mouths; it's what our lives will overflow with.
This is why the first thing Proverbs 4:23 tells us to do is watch over or guard our hearts. How do we do this? By carefully choosing what we allow ourselves to see and hear. Our eyes and ears are the pathways to our hearts. Our hearts will be filled with what we consistently hear and see.
If we just let everything on television, the radio and social media go unchecked into our eyes and ears, then we are not guarding our hearts. We are feeding on the opinions and mindsets of the world.
When we don't watch over what goes into our hearts, we might be surprised what comes out of our mouths. All of us have probably been in a situation when we just let something "slip out" of our mouths. It really didn't just slip out though. It is the overflow of what we've knowingly or unknowingly allowed into our hearts.
Usually these are funny situations where we say something that we really don't mean, but what about the other times?
What if we're in the middle of a disagreement with our spouse and he or she says something that makes us angry? Instead of taking a moment to calm down and respond peacefully, we fly off the handle, scream and curse, and storm out of the house.
We can all agree that this is the absolute wrong response, but where did it come from? Whether we like it or not, it came from our heart. If we spend all week filling our hearts with angry music, violent television, and news about traffic accidents and the failing economy, it will be much easier to get angry. So, when we step into a heated situation that anger will come out.
This is just one example of how our reactions always come from our hearts.
But this example does not have to describe our lives. we can guard our hearts, and then the springs of our lives won't be angry, confused or depressed.
It starts with choosing to fill our hearts with God's word. If we are constantly feeding on the word of God, there won't be any room for the negativity and death of the world in us. When we do this, we'll see our lives go in the direction that God has planned for them.
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