26 August 2015

What it means to "Guard Your Heart"

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You may be wondering what this whole "Guarding your heart" thing is all about and why it is important, so let me explain. The concept of guarding our hearts comes from Proverbs 4:23 "Above all else guard your heart for it is the wellspring of life". This excerpt from Matthew Henry's Commentary explains the meaning of this verse really well... 

"II. We must keep a watchful eye and a strict hand upon all the motions of our inward man, Prov. 4:23. Here is, 1. A great duty required by the laws of wisdom, and in order to our getting and preserving wisdom: Keep thy heart with all diligence. God, who gave us these souls, gave us a strict charge with them: Man, woman, keep thy heart; take heed to thy spiritDeut. 4:9. We must maintain a holy jealousy of ourselves, and set a strict guard, accordingly, upon all the avenues of the soul; keep our hearts from doing hurt and getting hurt, from being defiled by sin and disturbed by trouble; keep them as our jewel, as our vineyard; keep a conscience void of offence; keep out bad thoughts; keep up good thoughts; keep the affections upon right objects and in due bounds. Keep them with all keepings (so the word is); there are many ways of keeping things—by care, by strength, by calling in help, and we must use them all in keeping our hearts; and all little enough, so deceitful are they, Jer. 17:9. Or above all keepings; we must keep our hearts with more care and diligence than we keep any thing else. We must keep our eyes (Job 31:1), keep our tongues (Ps. 34:13), keep our feet (Eccl. 5:1), but, above all, keep our hearts. 2. A good reason given for this care, because out of it are the issues of life. Out of a heart well kept will flow living issues, good products, to the glory of God and the edification of others. Or, in general, all the actions of the life flow from the heart, and therefore keeping that is making the tree good and healing the springs. Our lives will be regular or irregular, comfortable or uncomfortable, according as our hearts are kept or neglected."

So you see, guarding our hearts is about turning away from evil and temptation. It's also about being cautious of what we consume and who we let into our hearts. Our hearts are beautiful and precious and because they are so, we need to protect them from damage to keep them well. Like a collector who keeps the most precious items in the safest places and treats them with the upmost care so that they last long, stay pristine, and free from damage. Guarding our hearts means guarding our minds, eyes, and ears too. 

Sisters, it is my strong prayer that each of you would guard your heart. It is not always an easy task, but I pray that God would give you strength to endure. I also pray that the Lord would protect your hearts from what you cannot protect them from. In Jesus precious and Holy name I pray, Amen. 
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"Pleasant words are like honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones." Proverbs 16:24