Proverbs 4:23 – Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.
What would happen if we guarded our hearts the same way we guard our stomach (or our hips)? We count calories and we do fad diets as well as “get pumped up” at the gym. We have become so concerned with what we put into our bodies that we don’t have time to care what we put into our hearts. Jesus said in Matthew 15:11 – it is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but what comes out of the mouth; this defiles a person.”
Matthew 12:34 For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.
Or as many of you have heard, “Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.”
Proverbs 18:21 The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.
When we put all of these verses together we find this… Above everything, guard your heart because out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks and we shouldn’t be concerned as much with what goes into our mouth than what comes out of our mouth because our tongue has the power to bring life and to cause death.
We spend so much time focused on our bodies, which are fleeting, that we don’t have any time left over to focus on our souls, which are eternal. We allow all kinds of filth and muck to fill our minds and eventually inhabit our hearts. Everything from the obvious like pornography and soft core items like Game of Thrones to the less obvious things like American Idol which teaches our generation that all that matters is idolatry and fame. The music we listen to promotes violence and hate.
The social media that we follow magnifies all the negativity in the world yet before we reach for our Bibles we reach for our phones. So many of us read our Bibles on our mobile devices and it is detrimental to our study time. I find that when I read my Bible on my phone I find something worth “sharing” and I share it to Facebook and then get caught up in Facebook and my Bible time ends oh too quickly. We have become so “me” centered that even our Bible time has become an opportunity to brag… Instagram is filled with pictures of open Bibles sitting next to cups of Starbucks coffee and Mac laptops. Instead of looking for God’s face we are looking to other people for instant approval of our lavish lifestyles and praise for the disciple (or lack thereof) to spend time in the Word.
How can we guard our hearts and allow God the most glory?
WATCH WHAT YOU WATCH
Be careful what you are viewing. The eyes are a gateway. This also means that you need to be careful what you read, what you look at and where you go. Guarding your heart starts with guarding your eyes.
BURY THE WORD IN YOUR HEART
The best way to guard your heart is to be sure you know what is in there. A guard has no use guarding a room unless he is confident that what is in the room is worth guarding. Make sure to daily read scripture. Memorize scripture as well. The Bible says “I hide the word in my heart that I might not sin against God.” – When we know the word, we know how to navigate life’s trials.
Don’t do it alone. Find someone who will walk the road with you. Find someone who will read the Bible in conjunction with you. They don’t need to be in the same room with you while it’s happening but find a buddy who will read through a book of the Bible with you and discuss with you what was read. Find someone who will ask you hard questions about what you are allowing into your heart through media and travel.
In addition to having a human accountability partner, the best accountability partner is Jesus. Talk to Him every day and be open and transparent before Him.