How to Guard your Heart
What would you do if you were given a treasure that contained the harvest of your life? This treasure would determine your successes and failures. It would define the path of your life. Everything that you do, and who you become proceeds out of it. However, this treasure has one peculiarity, it has a tendency to betray you. If you don’t guard it, it will lead you astray.
Your prime job is to guard it with all diligence, for out of it flows the issues of your life. This treasure is your heart. I am not talking about the cardiovascular organ in your body that pumps blood and oxygen to your cells. I am talking about your heart, where your thoughts are conceived, where your deepest desires originate, and a place where your will, attitude, words and actions are formed.
Proverbs 23:7 says, “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he”. Scientifically it is proven that our heart also thinks and coordinates with the thinking of the brain. Therefore the manner in which we think, is the manner in which we behave. Our thoughts makes us who we are. When our thoughts are defiled, our life gets defiled as well. Therefore you need to watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life (Proverbs 4:23 NASB).
Worldly advice says, when you don’t know what to do, just follow your heart. Secular wisdom says, there’s nothing that’s impossible when you follow your heart. If anything feels right then it should be right. However, the truth is, “The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is?” (Jeremiah 17:9 NLT)
If we follow our hearts, it will lead us into deception, sin and an ungodly life. But the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart, and these defile them. For out of the heart come evil thoughts—murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. These are what defile a person; but eating with unwashed hands does not defile them.” (Matthew 15:18-20 NIV)
The major difference between a righteous and a wicked person is in their thinking. A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. What you say flows from what is in your heart. (Luke 6:45 NLT)
How are we to guard our hearts, and against what are we guarding it from? We are guarding our hearts from evil thoughts, strife, sexual immorality, jealousy, deception, wickedness, corrupt talk and every form of ungodliness.
We guard our hearts by monitoring what we say, what we see and where we go. 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. (Proverbs 4: 24-27 NIV). We guard our hearts by examining our thoughts and living a life pleasing to God.
What if you have left your heart unguarded and have gone astray? If you have made a mistake, it doesn’t mean you have to continue with it. Repent and turn away from all wickedness and take the higher road that leads to righteousness.
Finally, how long do we need to guard our hearts? We need to guard our hearts as long as it keeps beating. Although Solomon gave this advice to his son to guard his heart, this advice applies not just for people that are young but for people of all ages.
Sometimes, people as they get older get a complacent attitude, especially if they have been wiser in their younger days. Such as we see in the case of Solomon himself, where he failed to guard his heart in his old age and was led astray from the Lord.
At times people think that their heart has never failed them, nevertheless guard it anyway, lest you falter. At times, people think that they have overcome temptation before and so they don’t need to guard their heart. If you have never failed before it does not mean you will not be attacked again or fail in the future. Which country would take off its border protection with the notion that it has never been attacked before or has never lost in battle?
An unguarded heart is always a defeated heart, it doesn’t matter whose heart it is. Your heart is precious and needs to be guarded at all times. Stay vigilant and remain diligent for what you allow to grow in your heart, the same you will reap.