“GUARD YOUR HEART ABOVE ALL ELSE, Proverbs 4:23

I share with you a message a Friend sent me today.  I pray you will be blessed by it as I am.  It is Truth from Proverbs, the Book of Wisdom.  In another translation, this verse says, “Above all else, guard your heart; for it is the wellspring of life.”  She wrote:

“I try to come back to this verse again and again in my studies.  In this translation, the ‘above all else” casts a compelling stopping point where I must linger a while and give the importance of these words my full attention.  Above all else!  The heart, of course, has to do with our minds, for it is the very essence of who we are.  And how exactly do we guard our hearts?  We protect them just like we ‘guard’ a small child or anything else making sure it is safe, and that means that we must set boundaries.  We seem to be so easily influenced by the world and worldly things that we have to rein ourselves in many times and make a conscious and determined effort to live the life God meant us to live.  I want to share with you the way I have found it helpful to respond to this admonition.
Prayer is the key–yes, that never-ceasing kind of prayer- because the enemy never rests from trying to steal our peace and joy.  So the first step in protecting our heart is to acknowledge God and to pray for God’s wisdom.  We are taught in Proverbs that nothing we could want is equal to it.  Think about that.  If we ask for His wisdom, the Holy Spirit, who indwells us, will guide us and teach us how to guard our hearts so that the issues in our lives will conform to our right thinking.
Another way we guard our hearts is to be careful to guard the words we speak and the words we hear.  We do know the right words to speak if we abide in Christ, and we must purpose to watch those words every single time we speak. We are building our lives and our future here, and surely we are aware that words are behind so many issues and disagreements.  Thus we need to know His Word, and we do know His Word is truth, We must keep our minds under His protection even though it is difficult in today’s world, especially in the current political atmosphere.  I try to stay grounded by not allowing garbage in as that would preclude the necessity of then getting the garbage out.   This always leads me to what I should be doing as Philippians 4:8 states, ‘Finally brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy — MEDITATE ON THESE THINGS.’
Then I try to be aware of the words others speak into my life.  At times, my own heart has been damaged by someone else’s actions or words, and i have learned under the Holy Spirit’s guidance that I must refuse to take their words as truth.   You see, if their hearts are damaged, I have to refuse to allow them to project their misguided feelings on to me.  It is a fact that ‘hurt people hurt people,’ and I know I have to remind myself of that from time to time.
In closing, I think that we can agree that our hearts shape or inform our lives, and thereby our actions.  If the inner man is right, the outer life will conform to the way the Lord wants us to direct our lives.  Again, we must be aware in guarding our hearts, and the Holy Spirit will lead us in transforming our natural mind to God’s ways and purposes.  And remember always, those three words…”above all else.”

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