This post is mostly for young people, but since I’m not immune, it’s a good reminder for those of us who are on the other side of the hill, too, especially for those who may be just starting a new stage in life.
“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.” —Proverbs 4:23 NLT
I, and I’m sure many others my age and older, can confirm the validity of Proverbs 4:23, because the course of our lives has been determined by what our hearts have followed. For some, it has been a pretty good road, but for others, it has been hard and filled with regrets. Although some people would say they are grateful for the lessons learned, if they could go back and have a do-over, they would.
“To know the road ahead, ask those coming back.” —Chinese proverb
“We’re prone to let circumstances fuel our emotions. Then our emotions dictate our responses, and so we become victims of our circumstances and of our emotions…” —Nancy Leigh DeMoss in Trials That Reveal Your Heart
“Look not upon your desires and your heart will not be confused.” —Chinese proverb
Sometimes flattery grabs the attention of our hearts, because it fills the common need of acceptance and love. Compliments and encouragement are one thing, but be careful of flattery that is intended to capture your attention for selfish reasons.
“The ear is the road to the heart.” —French proverb
Sometimes our present circumstances are tough or even bad, and all we want to do is escape, and we go for the first person or circumstance that would appear to rescue us.
“A fleeing person is not choosy about his road.” —Japanese proverb
“Whether you understand the motivations of your heart or not, really what’s driving your actions, and what’s driving your life and how you fill your day, actually comes back to what you believe is actually gonna bring about the most fullness of life possible for you.” —Matt Chandler, pastor of The Village Church in Fig Leaves, Lies and the Grace of God
“If you want to know where your heart is, look to where your mind goes when it wanders.” —Unknown
“Your feet will bring you to where your heart is.” —Irish proverb
“For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” —Jesus
“For where your treasure is…”
The deeper meaning of Proverbs 4:23 reveals the value of our hearts. Most other English translations more accurately read similarly to the NKJV, “Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life.” Our hearts are like a water spring, a source, and everything in our lives flows from it, and that is what determines our course. It is like a life giving spring, but if it becomes polluted, it can mean disease or death, suffering and heartache, so we must guard it well.
I would be the last person to tell you that it’s easy to control the direction and affections of your heart. And changing the course of that direction can be especially difficult when it involves the heart of another as well. Have you ever found yourself involved in a relationship and found it difficult to let go because you didn’t want to hurt the other person? They usually end up getting hurt in the end anyway, so it’s better to guard your heart— and theirs— from the beginning.
“He is most free from danger, who, even when safe, is on his guard.” —Latin proverb
“It’s okay to follow your heart, but take your brain with you.” —Nicole Hill
If you liked this, you might also like… Wisdom Wednesday: Breaking & Making Habits and God’s Plan for Your Life May Not Be What You Think It Is