Watch over your heart with all diligence, For from it flow the springs of life. Proverbs 4:23 NASB
Before going to college, I can’t remember ever going to an R rated movie. As part of my Christian values, I just did not go. So as a college student, one Friday night, the student center hosted a movie night. I was a bored freshman, most of the students left campus to go home on the weekends. I went to the movie, Dawn of the Dead, which is one of the earliest zombie movies. This was morbid. Most left. I stayed hoping that the end of the movie would bring about some redeeming thought. It did not. The images are stuck in my mind, for the rest of my life. I let my guard down.
Watching, guarding, keeping are words translators have chosen to try and capture the responsibility each person has to keep in touch with issues of the heart. The greater and weightier issues of life seem to settle deeper in our minds than the thoughts of what we will eat for supper. At times it is like a weight on our chest for the heaviness we feel and think about on certain subject. We try our best to avoid letting negative experiences into our lives. But what do we do about those things that happen to us?
Keep your heart damage thermometer handy
The first part of the thermometer registers your open relationship with God.
- Sin has built a wall between you and God. Jesus overcame sin so that you could be restored in your relationship with the Heavenly Father. Becoming His child with sins forgiven is the first step in guarding your heart. Have you placed your heart in his hands?
- After becoming a child of God, sin breaks fellowship with God. It is like turning your back on Him, while you are standing in His presence. You can no longer see His loving face, nor receive from the goodness of His hands. Which way are you facing right now?
- David prayed after sinning for God to create a clean heart in him and renew a right spirit within him. If you know you are unwilling to change from your sinful ways…you are having lots of turmoil in your heart. Confess your wrongs to God to gain health again in your heart. Only God has the antidote to bring healing to a sinful heart.
The second gauge on the heart thermometer registers your relationship other people.
- Check for bitterness which makes the heart caustic and angry. Life is unfair and people have been cruel. Bitterness is an acid which only impacts the person holding it . Ask God and others to help you let bitterness go through forgiveness
- Check for roots of angry outburst. Usually anger stems from an injustice you experienced in the past. The infraction may not have happened to you, but you feel that justice was not served. Trust God’s word that He will reconcile all injustice. Vengeance is mine, says the Lord. Forgive, bless and ask the Lord how to release your urge to “make things right”.s
- Check for fear. Fear can grip your life like putting a clamp on the lifeblood vein. It makes life hard to manage. God’s love and presence push fears aside. You are not bad or weak if you deal with fear, but there is hope and life to move to a place where fears stop dominating your heart. Draw close to God’s love.
- Check for unforgiveness. When we harbor unforgiveness, we have tied our hands to lack the joy of living. We carry the weight of a debt in which no payment can remove it. The only hope is to release the debt. Cancel the need for it to be made right through forgiving them. Forgiveness does not mean that the person did nothing wrong. It releases them from being able to make it right. There is great freedom and joy when you can release the debt of unforgiveness.
How did you do? What were your heart thermometer readings? Just because and event happened which damaged your heart emotions, it does not have to remain. Through Jesus and the Holy Spirit you can walk into more life and light. The joy of the Holy Spirit is available to you, right now. Spend a few minutes checking on your heart. You will be glad you did.
Thinking on Thursdays is a great time to start thinking about guarding your heart, BUT, everyday of the week will need your due diligence to keep your heart pure and life-giving.
Blessings Love y’all