Above all else, guard your heart,
for everything you do flows from it. (Proverbs 4:23)
Above all else…
Guard your heart…
For everything you do…
Flows from it.
Think about those four phrases for just a moment — and the profound truth that they illuminate.
Above all else — meaning this is of the utmost importance, and should be given our full attention and serious effort. This comes first. Do this before anything else.
Guard your heart — a clear warning to be on alert and consciously protective of your heart– because if you don’t, who will do this for you? The answer is simple: no one. Your heart is your responsibility. You need to be its primary protector. Not in ways that don’t allow anyone or anything to penetrate it and shape it, but most definitely in ways that reveal your understanding that what comes in will undoubtedly have a shaping effect. For good — or for ill.
Why is this important? The author of Proverbs continues —
For everything you do — Everything. Everything we do. Everything we say. Everything we think about. Everything we consider. Everything. Everything means everything. I think you get the idea.
Flows from it — comes from it. Moves from it. Is motivated by it. Is understood as a result of it.
The heart is powerful force in our lives. And what we allow in it, what we allow to shape, heal it, strengthen it, edify it, break it, distract it, beat it down, and belittle it — it all serves to influence our words, thoughts, actions, and attitudes.
It shapes who we are — and who we are becoming.
Guarding your heart doesn’t just apply to relationships — but it most definitely applies to relationships.
It also applies to the kinds of media, images, ideas, voices, influences, opinions, etc. that we take in — on a daily basis.
So, how are you guarding your heart?