Wear the Breastplate of Righteousness
If you’re in enough battles, you’ll eventually suffer injuries, so you learn early on to protect the head and the heart as much as possible. In our spiritual battles, protecting the heart is less about avoiding emotional pain (which we can’t do if we’re going to counsel and serve hurting people) and more about avoiding unrighteousness, or to put it positively the way Paul did,
…with the breastplate of righteousness in place. - Ephesians 6:14 (NIV)
What is righteousness? The easiest way to grasp the concept is to imagine that which is pure and white, untouched by dirt or filth. Obviously, as sinners, we can’t go back and undo our consumption of unrighteous things anymore than we can take back our unrighteous deeds. What we can do is live as though purity defines us, because in Christ, purity does now define us as a result of the gracious work of God in us.
Satan aims for the heart. If he can harden it or divide it, he’s halfway to beating us in battle. So guard your heart by wearing the protective breastplate of righteousness and purity. If pornography or 50 shades of something or another currently shapes the desires and expectations of your heart, you’re completely vulnerable to utter ruin. If you harbor resentment or feast on gossip, you’re rendering your heart unable to show grace.
Watch the heart. Guard it closely. Wear the breastplate of righteousness. And if you think it’s too late… God performs spiritual heart transplants…
I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. - Ezekiel 36:26-27 (NIV)