Do you have a guard dog? We have a dog, but she is not a guard dog. She loves to greet you at our door and jump all over you. But, as she has aged she is very jumpy. Every time someone enters a door, or pops around a corner she gives a loud high pitched bark. Just one bark, more like an alert, watch out, someone is here. Even if you walk out of the room for a minute and come back she will give her alert bark. Maybe she thinks she is keeping us safe by letting us know when anything in her environment changes.
When something is important to us we guard it. When I take off my wedding ring, I put it in a safe place. When I leave my house or park my car I lock them. And when I am in the grocery store, I guard my purse as it sits in the seat of the grocery cart. One cannot be too safe anymore.
In today’s reading we are encouraged to guard our hearts above all else.
Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.
This means that guarding our heart should be our priority. Just like we guard our important possessions.
So what does it look like to guard your heart?
We guard our physical heart by eating healthy and exercising. Everything we eat affects how our heart works throughout our body. But, we also have our spiritual heart that King Solomon speaks of in the verse above. Our spiritual heart produces our spiritual life.
The heart is the center of our spiritual being, where all our emotions are ready to be brought forth. The problem is, our heart can be deceitful, we cannot trust every emotion that flows from the heart. We guard our heart by guarding our mind. We guard our mind and what we think about by being cautious as to what our eyes see and what our ears hear. Reading God’s Word is the key to getting the Truth to soak into our heart.
My son, pay attention to what i say; turn your ear to my words. Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart; for they are life to those who find them and heath to one’s whole body.
Just as we physically exercise our heart to keep it healthy we need to spiritually exercise our heart by continually being in God’s Word, worshipping Him, serving Him and talking to Him. This will guard our heart from all the evil that surrounds us.