Why Guard Your Heart?

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.

©Valerie Rumfelt

Mary of Bethany

 Just a few days before Jesus would die on the cross for the sins of the world, there is an account of a woman who took an opportunity to worship Him. Her display was remarkable and loving and remembered throughout all time.


John 12:1-8 is the passage. We find Lazarus hosting a dinner for Jesus. His sisters are present. Martha is serving. Mary is near Jesus.

It is six days before the Passover Feast. Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus lived. Lazarus was the one Jesus had raised from the dead.

2 A dinner was given at Bethany to honor Jesus. Martha served the food. Lazarus was among the people at the table with Jesus. 3 Then Mary took about a pint of pure nard. It was an expensive perfume. She poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped them with her hair. The house was filled with the sweet smell of the perfume.
4 But Judas Iscariot didn’t like what Mary did. He was one of Jesus’ disciples. Later he was going to hand Jesus over to his enemies. Judas said, 5 “Why wasn’t this perfume sold? Why wasn’t the money given to poor people? It was worth a year’s pay.” 6 He didn’t say this because he cared about the poor. He said it because he was a thief. Judas was in charge of the money bag. He used to help himself to what was in it.
7 “Leave her alone,” Jesus replied. “The perfume was meant for the day I am buried. 8 You will always have the poor among you. But you won’t always have me.”

As onlookers to this beautiful story, we admire Mary because of her outward evidence of inward devotion toward Jesus. She gave all she had to worship Jesus and show her love to Him. To Mary, Jesus was the only one in the room. She is compelled to worship Him in this precious and costly way.

Judas, the thief, the one who would later betray Jesus was in the room and opposed this act of love. Judas’ weakness was he cared only for himself. And he was guilty and trying to hide it. When he tried to deceitfully point out Mary’s love toward Jesus as being misguided, the selfishness and darkness in his character were exposed. Judas tried to garner favor for his position by pulling in the poor as his cover. He not only revealed his true colors but tried to deceive those around him into thinking he was concerned for the poor. Jesus, of course, was the One present concerned about the poor most of all. The fact that Judas tried this tactic with Jesus present exposes even more of his unfavorable and repulsive character.97e36477-fe33-4da0-a91f-00552724a6cf

Mary, on the other hand, is generous in her expression of love. To be clear, it was a display. Unabashed, Mary seems oblivious to the dark character sitting near her in Judas and still displays a lavish love for Jesus using a lavish product. She is one to admire and esteem. Jesus welcomed Mary’s love and worship while penetrating the darkness of Judas with a direct command to leave Mary alone. 


 Jesus was willing to fellowship with friends and foes alike, ready to defend the pure in heart, available to receive an extravagant expression of love, and used the sacrifice to teach a lesson. In only a few words, He exposes the motives and forces of evil sitting near Him in Judas. He uses Mary’s display of worship to uncover the truth.

The people in Jesus’ day didn’t understand they would soon lose Him to a brutal and sacrificial death on their behalf. Even in this passage, Jesus tells those present that He will not always be with them. They couldn’t grasp that He’d soon be gone. 

What qualities do we see in Mary of Bethany? A brave lady used an opportunity to worship Jesus in the face of evil. Mary understood Jesus was going to die. She cared for Him. Her act of worship pointed to his forthcoming death. She was devoted. She wanted to be with Jesus. She followed Him, and she worshipped Him. She hung on to His every word. She had a pure heart. 

And how does Jesus respond to Mary of Bethany? He receives her lavish love and worship. He stands up to evil and defends her pure love. He uses her example to show that a heart of worship and a heart of evil are choices. God, through the Holy Spirit, inspired John, the writer, to share it in Scripture to be read and told through the ages. 

Mary of Bethany did not know this encounter with Jesus would be historical and serve as an example to us all. Mary of Bethany wasn’t in a hurry. Because her heart was ready, she experienced the presence and love of Jesus. He calls each of His followers to be ready with a devoted heart because each day, we get to express our devotion to Him in the way we live too.

©Valerie Rumfelt

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This article shares Old Testament prophesies and their fulfillment. You can find it here:https://www.jesusfilm.org/blog/old-testament-prophecies/