(Photo by Sarah Komisky)
Letting God Guard
By Kimberly Loidolt
“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.”
– Proverbs 4:23 (NLT)
Proverbs 4:23 is one that gets interpreted incorrectly very often, which is understandable. At first glance, you would think that this verse is telling you to watch your heart and not let it get damaged, which is true, but many people take it to extremes and not only guard their heart, but they build up walls around it.
Throughout our lives, we will get hurt by other people, and that’s just how it goes. But we need to be careful not to become cold and closed off because of it. It’s very easy to shut down and cut people out of our lives after they have caused us hurt, but that’s not what Jesus would do. Yes, you should guard your heart, but not in this way. Guard your heart, to me, has evolved from putting up walls to making sure that I’m doing things and hanging out with people who are causing me to grow as a person instead of tearing me down. I now guard my heart by taking care of myself because if you don’t take care of yourself, odds are, no one else will. When people do hurt you, it’s important to forgive and forget, but don’t let yourself get walked on by people who cause your hurt.
Your heart is not only the most important organ in your body by keeping you alive, but it also “determines the course of your life,” which is just as equally important. Have you ever heard the saying, “Follow Your Heart”? It’s kind of like that. But the only way you can truly follow your heart is if it’s full of all the good stuff. The Bible tell us not to be prideful (Proverbs 16:18), to avoid grumbling, murmuring, and complaining (Exodus 16:3; John 6:43; Philippians 2:14), and instead of think of good things. Philippians 4:8 says, “Finally, brothers and sisters, 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.”
In order to follow your heart in the way that God wants you to, so that you may live the best life that you are capable of, you must first leave behind all of the bad and guard your heart from these things by filling it with good. When it comes to guarding your heart, you can take two routes; you can guard it with walls and rocks and chains and snipers, or you can guard it with God. The first makes a person harsh and cold and uninviting, the other makes for a child of God full of peace and compassion for others. There is no possible way for darkness to fill a space if it is being occupied by light. Begin each day by guarding your heart in the best way possible, with God, and let him do all the hard work.
Let go and let God guard.