Let's be honest here. Wait, first you may want to brace yourself. Sit down. Grab a cup of sweet tea. Breathe. Inhale. Exhale. Inhale. Exhale. Good....OK, ready? We need to guard our hearts. I know, I know. I hear ya, "That's what I needed to brace myself for? I thought you were going to say I needed to gouge my eyes out when I daydream about that gorgeous lifeguard or something!" Ah, no. No eye-gouging here. I like to see thank you very much! Guarding our hearts is actually not as easy as it sounds. You can't just put up a brick wall with an iron gate around your heart and think that will do the trick. Unfortunately we can't guard ourselves with a castle wall and moat system (Too bad...there are some things I would love to throw to the alligators!). So what in the world am I talking about here? Hang on!
Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life. Proverbs 4:23, NIVObviously the Proverbs writer thought that our hearts are pretty important. He says above all else, meaning to make it your #1 priority. He says that our heart is actually the wellspring of life. Basically he is saying that everything about us stems from our hearts--our thoughts, actions, attitudes, desires, words, and wishes. We can think of our hearts as a vault in a palace where the Queen's most precious diamonds are kept safe. There are guards whose entire job is to make sure that the vault is kept safe and secure, unharmed by negative influences. Our hearts are the exact same way. Your heart is a vault storing rare and beautiful treasures. Treasures of your emotions, feelings, thoughts, loves, desires, attitudes, etc. You wouldn't want just anything or anyone influencing those gems would you? Would you want just any cowboy Casanova to ride on in and steal your heart? I don't think so. Only prince charming should be allowed to enter those walls!
Negative influences vs. positive influences. How could you even begin to define what you should allow in and out of your heart? Good news! The Proverbs writer goes on to tell us....
Put away perversity from your mouth; keep corrupt talk far from your lips. Let your eyes look straight ahead, fix your gaze directly before you. Make level paths for your feet and take only ways that are firm. Do not swerve to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil. Proverbs 4:24-27, NIVI think a lot of what goes on with our heart condition has to do with what we are focusing on. The Proverbs writer seems to think so too. He specifically mentions what we look at, or in other words, what we focus intently on--what our eyes are fixated on. What you are looking at is where you are headed. So if you are focusing on that jerk of a guy simply because his muscles bugle out of his arms and his faces resembles that of Channing Tatum, then you are headed towards heartbreak. I'm not guy-bashing here. This is something that is extremely easy for us girls to fall prey to. We notice a guy for his looks and are attracted to him solely on that basis. Sadly, even after girls do get to know a guy and see what his true character looks like it is only after their heart has become involved--crushes can be dangerous things! The same scenario is true for virtually everything that we allow into our hearts and minds. If you focus on believing that you are fat, you are walking towards low self-esteem and possible depression. How and what we focus on makes all the difference. The Proverbs writer also says do not swerve to the right or the left. He is saying that our hearts are such a big deal that we can't treat them flippantly anymore. This has to be a priority.
I've decided something. Well, actually, I am definitely still in the process of learning and growing in it, but I am deciding to just jump and do it. I'm giving my heart away. Huh? Yep, you heard me correctly. I'm giving my heart away. My prayer is simply this: "Here's my heart Lord, take and seal it. Seal it for Thy courts above." I'm giving God my heart. You see, I can't guard my heart. I'm just not strong enough. When I see that guy, my heart does beat faster. When I see that big, juicy cheeseburger my heart totally wants it. When I look in the mirror, I don't always like what I see. I can't humanly do it. But I do know someone who can. The amazing thing is, He wants to take my heart and guard it for me. By allowing Jesus total access and control to my heart, my vault of gems, I am allowing Him to be in control of my life. I'm giving Him the keys and letting Him steer me in whichever direction He wants me to go. So now, when I look at that guy, I talk to God about how I am feeling. When I see that cheeseburger I ask God to be my comfort instead of food. When I look in the mirror I thank God because I am fearfully and wonderfully made. This keeps my heart and emotions in line. By giving God 100% control, my emotions can't run wild. I know when I try to take control by how I respond to those triggers in my heartstrings. When my emotions do start running crazy, I have to stop and give the key to my heart back to God. Simple? Definitely not. Worth it? You bet.
I want to take my crazy heart seriously, so for me I need a visual reminder--something to constantly remind me that God holds my heart. To do this, I have a ring that I wear on my ring finger. I used to wear a traditional "true love waits" ring, but after I found this one I just knew it was perfect. To me, this ring symbolizes God holding my heart. Since I am His daughter, I am His princess--thus the crown on top of the heart. Every time I look at my hand and see this ring, it just helps me remember to let God have control of this crazy heart of mine.
Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life. Proverbs 4:23, NIV