Tag Archives: Guard your heart

How Do I Guard My Heart (Part I) – The Word

Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it – Proverbs 4:23 (NIV)

Proverbs 4:23 clearly says that the reason we should guard our hearts is because everything flows out of it. This scripture is further explained by Jesus when He tells us that ‘from within , out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness’ – Mark 7:21

Hence, we see that we must guard our hearts so that filth does not to flow into it. Why is this? It is because whatever flows into our heart will ultimately flow out of our hearts. Once filth flows into our hearts, it becomes sin and leads to sinful actions.

Now, while it is clear that we should guard our hearts away from the filth of the world, what is at times unclear is how we actually go about this. Should we keep lock ourselves up so we do not get contaminated by filth or is there another way? Here is the answers: The way we go about guarding our heart away from the world is by keeping our minds filled with the word of God. Since the mind is the gateway to the heart, whatever we keep in our mind will ultimately make its way to our heart. If we keep out mind filled with the word, our hearts will reflect the word of God and so we develop a heart that is akin to that of God.

Moreover, our mind is either being influenced by the world or it is being influenced by the word. By filling our minds with the word of God, there is no room for the world in there; hence we have effectively guarded our hearts from the world and its influences.  Put another way, by filling our heart with the word of life, we find that only life flows out of our hearts.

Light-bulb moment: An effective way to guard your heart is to fill your mind with the word of God

The alternative to guarding our heart with the word is trying to avoid the world. Doing life this way requires that we cease to be salt and light to a fallen world because everything in the world would cause us to backslide since there is no ‘word’ barrier. It is not the will of Jesus that we seclude ourselves away from the world. Jesus did not do seclude Himself but spent time with tax collectors and other marginalized people so that He could be salt and light to them. Furthermore, He said He does not want us to be taken out of the world but to be protected from evil (John 17:15). Why? It is because He wants us to influence the world by shining our light in the darkness – instead of hiding our light under a basket and away from the darkness.

Light-bulb moment: We should never turn the guarding of our hearts into something we force to happen instead of something that happens naturally as we spend time with God.

So how does God protect us from evil that works through people? He does this through the Holy Spirit via the spiritual gift of discernment. Thus, it is the Holy Spirit that protects us from evil. This is why Jesus prays to God that He protect us from evil. He does not pray that we protect ourselves from evil through our own prejudiced and experienced based thinking. Hence, just as Jesus kept away from certain men because he discerned their hearts (John 2:24), we must keep away from evil company through spiritual discernment – not experiential or cultural discernment.

To conclude, guarding our heart with the word allows us to insulate ourselves away from the effects of the turmoil of the world and the actions of people, without alienating ourselves from people out of fear. Since guarding our heart Jesus style allows us to be salt and light to the world, we see the guarding our hearts has everything to do with love and has nothing to do with fear.


Filed under Relationships, Teaching

Guard Your Heart – What it does Not Mean!

If you have attended church for any considerable amount of time, you have probably come across the statement ‘guard your heart’.  

If you tell me that it means we are to guard our hearts away from people who may hurt us, then I beg to differ. Jesus certainly did not adhere to that interpretation in that He chose to have fellowship with a traitor called Judas and in that all twelve disciples betrayed Him by scattering after His arrest. If Jesus was trying to guard Himself from hurt, He would not have chosen any disciples to follow Him. If He was so worried about being hurt and looked for perfection, He would not have found it and He would have had to go it alone. If He had gone it alone, then there would have been no one to give the Great Commission! Hence, no disciples = no believers today.

Light-bulb moment: When we guard our hearts away from hurt and so block people away, we open our heart to being alone, being depressed, and missing out on God’s best.

See, Jesus was not looking for the perfect heart (a heart that would not hurt Him) but was looking for hearts open to chasing after perfection. He understood that since only God’s heart is perfect, some level of hurt is inevitable when dealing with man!

Like Jesus, we need to make our peace with that right now. If we are dealing with man, we are likely to be hurt to some degree whether the person meant to do it or not. But most people I know do not desire to hurt people. Most people I know hurt people out of weakness rather than out of wickedness! We must know the difference just as Jesus did for Jesus separated Himself from those who had a wicked heart (Pharisees) but did not separate Himself from those who had a weak heart (His disciples, Tax collectors).

Light-bulb moment: Wickedness welcomes evil (falsehood) but weakness simply loses to evil.  

How was Jesus able to stand being hurt by those who had a weak heart? He was able to because He understood that the individual simply lost his/her battle against the forces of darkness they were fighting. He understood that His gripe and anger was not against the individual who did whatever they did to hurt Him, but against the powers and principalities ruling them (Ephesians 6:12).

Now we see why Jesus remained so calm with Judas. Jesus knew that Satan had entered Judas (Luke 22:3) and so Judas’s actions were now being controlled by Satan. While Jesus was no doubt angry at Satan for deceiving and using Judas, He felt sorry for Judas because he was now a puppet under the influence of Satan!

While Satan thought he was using Judas to hurt Jesus, all he did was use Judas to bring to pass the purpose to which Jesus was called! Simply put, Satan cannot thwart your purpose! Only you can by the way you react to His antics! 

We now see why Jesus was able to say ‘forgive them Father for they do not know what they do’ to those who were crucifying Him. He actually felt compassion for them because they were like silly putty in the hand of Satan – they were actually in bondage. All their actions did was further reinforce why He had to set them free through His death.

Forgiveness is easier when you realize the truth that the person who hurt you was being manipulated by a force that used them as an instrument to hurt you. Consider that the way Satan tries to hurt you most is not by the actions of that person but by the way you react to their actions. Satan wants you to respond in prideful unforgiveness. Why? It is because it gives him room to operate in your life. Do not give him that pleasure but forgive just as God has forgiven you.

Now that Jesus has set us free from the power of Satan, Apostle Paul explains that a struggle still goes on between the Spirit and the flesh (Galatians 5:17). See, the moment we allow the flesh to take over our heart is the moment we have missed the mark (sinned). Moreover, the moment we sin is the moment we hurt God! How glad I am that God does not guard His heart away from us when we sin.

Food for Thought: I cannot truly love if I walk around afraid of being hurt

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Filed under Relationships