"Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life."--Proverbs 4:23(KJV)
The Bible tells us that if we are to guard anything, it is to be our hearts; more specifically--our thoughts. Why?
The issues of life,
- core beliefs
So how do I keep my heart with all diligence? By closely monitoring my thoughts. Like a guard or a security officer, I vigilantly and diligently monitor what I allow to enter my "space", my "world", my "sphere". Is it good for my soul? Is it healthy or is it toxic? Is it nourishing or contaminating? If it is not good, I do not give it access. If it is a negative or intrusive thought, I do not entertain it or muse over it. I do not give it my time or energy.
Can we keep it 100? Can we be real? Can we be honest? There are a lot of things that are readily available to us that are not necessarily good for our hearts (mind, soul). Certain people or groups, environments, conversations, TV shows, music, movies, etc. that may be entertaining but are not nourishing, edifying, or wholesome. When we decide not to give these things access, we are guarding our hearts.
Most of us would not opt to eat a box of dough-nuts, a few hot dogs, a bottle of soda, and a gallon of ice cream for breakfast. Sounds ridiculous, I know--but you get the point. Can we be as diligent with guarding our heart? Purpose to guard your heart by monitoring your thoughts and keeping in surveillance what you give access to, just as much as you monitor your physical diet.
Hebrew Word Study of Proverbs 4:23
keep (H5341) natsar: preserve, observe, watch, keep guard
heart (H3820) leb: heart, mind, thinking, thoughts, inner man, soul, understanding
diligence (H4929) mishmar: station of watch, a watchman, prison guard, the act of guarding
issues (H8444) towtsa'ah: outgoing, border, going out
life (H2416) chay: life, live, alive
Father, in the name of Jesus, we thank you for your word. Thank you teaching us the importance of guarding our hearts. Give us the strength and grace to monitor our thoughts as well as what we allow to access us. We thank you for the ability to discern what is nourishing and what is not. We pray for wisdom in our daily lives so that we may experience abundant living and that you would be glorified. Amen and so be it according to your word.
Hebrew word study from Strong's Exhaustive Concordance.