“Above all else, guard your heart for everything you do flows from it.” Proverbs 4:23 NIV
The easiest way to guard your heart is to monitor what you allow into it. What you put into your heart is what will flow from it. A recent study about our culture’s exposure to violence in the media showed it does affect us. The study found links to stress, anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. When we’re constantly being barraged with negativity, it starts to produce negativity in us. The first step in guarding your heart is being aware of what you are allowing into it. The key to guarding your heart, blocking out the negative and allowing in more good.
God tells us not only to guard our hearts, He also gives us practical tips how too in the verses that follow today’s verse. “Keep your mouth free of perversity; keep corrupt talk far from your lips. Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you. Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways. Do not turn to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil” (Prov. 4:24-27 NIV). In other words, watch what you say, keep your eyes on your own path, think about what you are doing and which way you are going. Guarding your heart not only protects it, but allows good to flow from it.
Guarding your heart not only protects it, but allows good to flow from it.
I guard my heart by limiting my exposure to media violence. I don’t watch violent movies, I don’t read violent books. Instead, each morning I take time with God. I read His word, I pray and fill my heart with His goodness. As I learn more about Him, I’m able to stay focused on the path He made for me. By taking time with Him each morning I’m more aware of the words that flow from my mouth. I’m more sensitive to the times my speech is not uplifting and encouraging. I guard my heart by limiting the negative and choosing to fill it with God’s goodness. When I fill my heart with God’s goodness, then good flows from it.
Guarding our hearts is a daily choice to monitor what we allow into it. If we want good to flow from it, we must put good into it. Just like putting gasoline into a car, if we get bad gas, the car won’t run. But when we fuel it with high octane petroleum, we’ll be able to to go for miles and miles on it’s goodness.
Question of the Day:
What are you filling your heart with?
Further Reading: Genesis 48:1-49:33 NIV, Matthew 15:29-16:12 NIV, Psalm 20:1-9 NIV, Proverbs 4:20-27 NIV