Keep Your Heart

Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life. Put away from you a deceitful mouth, And put perverse lips far from you.  Let your eyes look straight ahead,
And your eyelids look right before you.  Ponder the path of your feet, And let all your ways be established.  Do not turn to the right or the left; Remove your foot from evil – Proverbs 4:23-27, NKJV

To keep your heart, means to guard, watch over it, to preserve and guard from dangers and we are to do this diligently (steadily, earnestly and with energetic effort). Why are we to guard our hearts so fiercely? That’s where our affections, feelings, emotions are and these can influence our thoughts and actions. We have all heard and probably used the expression, “Follow your heart.” That may not always be the wise thing to do because our hearts can lead us astray or straight into trouble.

We are told that, “The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is?” (Jeremiah 17:9, NLT). No one wants to hear this about their heart. After all, we associate the heart with love, don’t we? Yet, Jesus Himself said, “For from the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, all sexual immorality, theft, lying, and slander. These are what defile you” (Matthew 15:19, 20, NLT). This is why Solomon urges us to avoid all perverse talk and to stay away from corrupt speech.

How do we guard our hearts so that when we speak good things come forth? Paul gives us the answer. “Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise” (Philippians 4:8, NLT). We want to have pure hearts because out of pure hearts come pure actions and words. So, how do we get pure hearts? We can do what David did after he repented of his adultery with Bathsheba. He prayed, “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me” (Psalm 51:10, NIV). This is a prayer God will be more than happy to answer.

A pure heart is found in those who fear the Lord. To fear the Lord means to revere, honor and respect Him. And as a result, we seek to do His will and to obey His Word which encourages us to, “keep your tongue from evil and your lips from telling lies. Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it” (Psalm 34:13, 14, NIV). Paul tells us, “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect” (Romans 12:2, NLT).

To guard our hearts we will need to grounded in God’s Word, applying it to every area of our lives. And to help us to do this, is the Holy Spirit–the Spirit of Truth. It is He who will say to us, “This is the way, walk in it,” Whenever you turn to the right hand Or whenever you turn to the left (Isaiah 30:21, NKJV). Stay faithful to God and His Word. Be mindful of whom you keep company with for Paul warns us, “Bad company corrupts good morals” (1 Corinthians 15:33, MEV).

Keep you heart with all diligence so that it can be a place where Christ can dwell (Ephesians 3:17).

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

Sources: Merriam-Webster ; Daily Verses

3 Replies to “Keep Your Heart”

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