Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life. (Proverbs 4:23 NLT)
Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. (Proverbs 4:23 NIV)
Search me, O God, and know my heart... (Psalm 139:23 NLT)
Well it's Valentines Day and love has been in the air all week:)
I'm always amazed at the buildup surrounding this holiday. Cards, flowers, balloons, jewelry and chocolate surround you at every turn as people seek to express their "love" to those special to them. While I celebrate the holiday and appreciate what it stands for, it's always interesting to observe the impact (good and bad) this ONE day has on people.
Weddings and engagement celebrations wait all year for this day.
Singles either drown in lonely feelings or scramble for a date for the sake of just having "someone".
Lovers await what surprises are in store, often finding themselves disappointed as their expectations aren't met.
Those that despise this commercial man-made holiday go to great lengths to show their "Anti V Day" by wearing black and rolling their eyes as flowers overtake their office spaces.
People just get in a tizzy. I know these people AND I've even been these people at different points in my life. Feb 14th is a day where most people lay their heart on the line. So as all the attention has been focused on our "hearts" these past few weeks, I couldn't help but think about what God has to say about matters of the heart.
Proverbs 4:23 tells us to "Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it."
Guard: to protect from harm, to watch over so as to prevent escape or violence, to maintain control over, as to prevent indiscretion, to supervise ENTRY or exit through.
We often experience heartbreak at the hands of a failed relationship, family betrayal, broken promises or unmet expectations. We let our guards down and allow others entry into our most prized possession, the heart, leaving us open and vulnerable to hurt. Over and over we leave the gates to our heart swinging wide open, allowing wrong thoughts, actions and people to infiltrate what God has clearly deemed precious.
God thinks our hearts are so special that he wants them guarded and protected above all else. The words ABOVE ALL else have always stood out to me. He means this should be a priority in our life, this supersedes anything else we have going on, this should be at the top of our to-do list. Since "everything you do" flows from the heart, it's important to have it in tip top condition.
If you allow fear in your heart then all your decisions: who you love, how you treat people, your daily mood, etc will all flow from a foundation of fear, having a negative impact on your life. If you want "good" outcomes in your life, you must have "good" in your heart. It's often said "you are what you eat", well I'm learning it's the same with our hearts. We are what we put in our hearts. So we have to take careful action to watch over who we allow to speak into our hearts, what we allow our hearts to be connected to and take observation as to how that is affecting our everyday life. Our hearts should be whole, pure, healthy, wise, steady and full of love so that our life will possess the same traits. God created our hearts for a special reason and it's our job to protect it.
Every day, not just Feb 14th, should be a day that we celebrate love. As we do, lets make sure we are taking extra care of our hearts, for it is the very thing that God is most concerned with.
Pray and seek God on what changes you may need to make with matters of the heart. Ask him to show you what should be allowed in your heart and perhaps what you need to purge so that you can stay on the right course for your life.