Our hearts matter. Supremely. Our heart is the core, the essence, of who we are. It’s where we experience the dreams, the despairs, the decisions, and the delights of life. As Matt Heard said this past weekend, “The heart is both the battleground and dance floor of the life to which Jesus calls us.”
Who we are—as human beings and as followers of Jesus—originates with our heart. It’s where our strength, passion, authenticity, love, awareness, fulfillment, and so much more come from. In the Bible, many of the exhortations and encouragements are aimed at our heart.
A heart that has become stagnant, stunted, or calloused (through rebelliousness or woundedness) can change us from being participants in our journey to mere spectators.
To become “like the Christ” means we need to engage our heart. That is why this warning in Proverbs 4.23 is so critical. The author tells us to “guard” our heart with all vigilance. Our heart (or inner being) holds the thoughts, feelings, desires, will, and choices that make us who we are. All these areas need to be “guarded.”
One area, our thoughts, was especially important to the Apostle Paul, “…whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things” (Philippians 4.8).
As you welcome God into your day, memorize Proverbs 4.23 as you begin the process of “guarding” your heart.