Guard your Heart!
Do you know that the Bible warns us to guard our hearts? Do you know why it is so important to do so? Proverbs 4:23 says, “Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.” Imagine your heart is the Central Bank building or the Office of the President in Malaca_an or the White House. What’s going on inside is so important, so precious and vital to the well-being of the rest of the country that guards are trained to patrol the premises night and day. They routinely check the front, back, basement, even the roof of the building. They watch the windows and doors to monitor who or what goes in and out. They periodically examine the walls around the building to make sure there are no cracks or holes where thieves can come through or bombs can be smuggled in.
Our heart is vitally important. It is the control center of our lives. What happens there can affect our loved ones, our future, our relationship with God. We can have a wonderful marriage, a happy family. Then one day, an innocent friendship in the office develops into a romance, and then a sexual affair, and before we know it, our homes are shattered. Or we might want to have what everyone else has--the latest model color TV or an iPad and so we borrow from friends or use our credit card. We keep borrowing, keep accumulating, until we are so deep in debt that we have to mortgage our house or take our children out of school. Or we can keep giving our time and money to charity and missions. But because people keep praising us for it, we begin to do it out of pride rather than true generosity.
Another translation of Proverbs 4:23 is, “Guard your hearts with all diligence.” That means earnest and persistent vigilance, steady effort, and attentive care. We must constantly guard our hearts, not just against traps and temptations, but by reading the Bible and seeking the Lord in meditation and prayer. When this becomes a daily habit, then our hearts become centered on God and his ways. We will begin to bear the fruit of the Spirit: Love, Joy, Peace, Faithfulness, Goodness, Kindness, Gentleness, Patience and Self-control.