During my college days, I would attend movies that I knew my parents would not have approved of. I was away from home, and it was easy to justify doing some activities. I wasn’t interested in the Holy Spirit’s uncomfortable presence. And you want to know the consequences of that willful behavior? I’ve always remembered that time. I thank God that He forgave me, but He left the memory. But I thank God for the memory because later, it informed my decision to be careful of my media intake. He left that responsibility to me, and He left it to you too.
Guarding your heart is more than media intake. Are the people closest to you striving to guard their hearts too? God cares about the company we keep(I Corinthians 15:33). He cares about our attitudes in every area of life, from how we care for our bodies to how we treat others. Additionally, I have several articles on this site about the importance of a morning quiet time with God. And other articles on scripture engagement. These kinds of activities help us guard our hearts.
The heading of Proverbs 4 is “Get Wisdom at Any Cost.” With that heading, we can know God cares about our hearts. It is an understatement to say that from a physical standpoint, our heart is vital to our life. I think God looks at our spiritual hearts the same way. We must intentionally care for it. It is vital to our spiritual life.
Proverbs 4:23 – Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.
Sometimes adults believe they can watch, read or do whatever they want because they are adults. Societies determine a legal age to do certain activities, and some Christians adopt this way of life, thinking if an action is considered legal, then it is ok to do. The Bible doesn’t teach this. God commands us to guard our hearts.
Why guard your heart? Obviously, because the Bible says so. A few others are listed below, and you might have one to add. Please leave a comment to share if you do.
Reasons to Guard Your Heart:
- To intentionally choose purity. You want the Holy Spirit to be at home in your heart(Matthew 5:8, Psalm 51:10).
- To have a greater desire to meet with God. This desire increases when darkness decreases(Psalm 42:2).
- To have godly wisdom to pass on to your children and grandchildren, and friends(Proverbs 1:8-9).
- To be a good example. If you are a Christian, then you are a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17). Christians and lost people need a good example.
- To have a beautiful mind, plus, thinking about “these things” is easier(Philippians 4:8).
- To use your time wisely since much of the harm to our hearts comes by way of media affecting our eyes and ears (Matthew 13:15).
- To decrease anxiety because what we read, watch, and listen to impacts our spirit(I Corinthians 6:12-13, Matthew 6:22-23).
- To fellowship with God because whatever is filling your mind has your attention. You can’t enjoy God and His presence with distractions(Psalm 16:11).
- To have a filter for what comes out of your mouth. If you aren’t guarding your heart, then your mind is not the mind of Christ(2 Corinthians, chapter 2). If your mind is dark, then your mouth will reveal it(Matthew 15:18).
- To have a strong mind since your mind is supposed to be used to understand God’s will. It is renewable. The sooner you guard your heart, the sooner you will know all that God has for you to know( Romans 12:1-2).
- To have more peace by allowing the Holy Spirit to permeate your mind. Your anxiety level diminishes and your joy increases(Romans 8:6).
- To lose the desire for the things of this world. Greed will decrease. Your eyes will be opened to all God gives to you straight from His loving heart materially and spiritually(I John 2:15-17).
Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies. I Corinthians 6:19-20
Think about what you let in. In children’s church, we sang a song with this line, “Oh be careful little eyes what you see.” The internet is wonderful and beneficial in many ways. Like a library, it has great content, but just like a library, it has sinful content too. The words to the music you listen to in your car (even if it is from your high school days)may be causing your mind to linger in places that keep you from God. Are your podcasts filling your mind with God’s truth or with the world’s solutions? Are they fueling anger or cynicism? There are so many wonderful books in this world. Find books that cause your mind to be in beautiful places and not fantasize, crave violence, or encourage careless speech.
We will never be perfect until Jesus comes again, but we are to strive to be more like Him each day and to bring glory to Him with our lives. Everyday choices show that we care about our relationship with Him. Think about your choices. Without comparing yourself to your friends, ask yourself, “Am I doing all I can to guard my heart?”
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How to use this article:
Personal Bible study – Look up every verse and write it, say it, pray it. Decide what you can do more to guard your heart.
Go over it with any new believer or with your children or grandchildren, nieces or nephews etc. Discuss more ways to guard your heart.
Memorize some of the scriptures.