Above All Else
September 7, 2021
Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life. Proverbs 4:23 NLT
If you had a fire alarm sound in your house and besides your family you had time and opportunity to get one thing out, what would it be? Our family scrapbooks are close to the doors of our house for that very reason. As I’m writing, I just thought of something else I am going to do. I have an external hard drive that has all of our pictures on it as well. I’m going to make sure it is kept in a safe and indestructible place—that’s more important to me than convenience. The pictures are the most valuable things I own from my perspective.
Solomon said the thing that needs most protected in life is our heart. In the Bible the heart is considered the seat of life or strength. It means mind, spirit, or one's entire emotional nature and understanding. Guard THAT with all your life because it determines the entire course of your life.
You and I both have seen that many times. People have bad experiences and subsequently let fear, bitterness, and resentment enter their hearts. Life begins a spiral downward. You’ve heard the “garbage in, garbage out” wisdom. It’s not just true for technical computers, it is true for us. The quality of what we allow in our minds takes root and alters the course of our lives.
Through the friendships we choose, our reading material, what we watch and see, social media we frequent—all of these direct the trajectory of our mental health, spiritual stability, relational satisfaction, and even our physical stamina. We are creating our future, even our overall destiny, by what goes on there, by what happens in our minds. We can’t afford to be casual about it. We can’t afford to let inferior thoughts take residence by default or to actively welcome ideas that can damage and destroy.
Sometimes we pray for God to do things that are our responsibility. You wouldn’t pray for God to lock the door of your home, would you? You know that would be naïve and foolish. You know God COULD lock your door for you, but He expects you to take responsibility for that. The same is true of your mind. God expects you and I to assume responsibility for the things that we allow to influence us. We have capacity and responsibility for what we bring into our lives. He will then handle the things we cannot.
- Where in your life are you allowing thoughts and experiences to impact your heart and mind? Where do you need to set a guard?