Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. Keep your mouth free of perversity; keep corrupt talk far from your lips. Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you. Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways. Do not turn to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil.
Proverbs 4:23-27 NIV
“Above all else, guard your heart”. At first glance we may look at this statement and think it refers to relationships. But on further inspection I think we can see more. In Hebrew thinking, the heart is the center of everything, kind of like our minds to us. This is reinforced by the second half of the sentence “for everything you do flows from it”. Meaning, who we are as people, has a direct correlation to where our hearts are. How we think, speak and act. How we respond to criticism, how we react to negativity, anything you can think of in relation to yourself, is a reflection of our hearts. This is why it is so important to continually evaluate ourselves.
In order to change our hearts for the better we’re instructed to look at 3 things. Our mouths, eyes, and legs. With our mouths we speak. It is so easy to say things we know we shouldn’t. Sometimes they even make us feel better for a while, or help us “win” an argument. In the long run though, it is way better for the heart, if the mouth speaks truthfully, lovingly, and in an uplifting manner. Trying to follow those will have a major impact on our hearts.
With our eyes, we fill ourselves to our “hearts” desire. In our culture, we are constantly being stimulated visually. Some of it is good, some is ok, and some just plain terrible. But for sure it is too much! Unless we decide to take control of what we see and how much, there is no way for us to fully guard our heart. We have to make conscious choices on what and how much we watch or stream. There are visual traps all around us every day, we have to choose not to look.
Lastly, is our legs. This is as much about which way you are headed as where you are right at this moment. Do you have healthy boundaries of places you know you shouldn’t be? Have you already given careful thought to your future, both long term and immediate? If you just go with the flow, you’ll most likely end up asking yourself, How did I ever end up here? Too many people have to ask themselves that before they begin to guard their hearts above all else. If you are already asking yourself that then now is the time to begin.
Start with these basic things, and you’ll be amazed at what God can change in you, in your heart, and then in your life.