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)
Have you noticed how easy it is to be distracted? In life there are many things that require our undivided attention, yet often our minds are taken up with other things, resulting in us being distracted from our main focus in life.
The verses above from Proverbs encourage us to guard our heart. If we think of the heart as purely a pumping organ to distribute blood around the body, we will miss the richness of meaning in this verse. In ancient times the heart was thought of as the seat of emotions and thoughts, as well as actions and will. By guarding your heart, you would be protecting yourself from things that could ultimately affect your character.
What does the word ‘guard’ conjure up in your mind? For me I imagine someone on guard duty, properly armed, vigilent and attentive. The guard is looking out for danger and they are the first line of defence against attackers.
Now applying this to your heart and mine – are we equally armed (read Ephesians 6:10-18), vigilent and attentive? As I said earlier it is easy to be distracted in life. So how should the Christian guard their heart? The Christian should be careful what they watch, what they read and also the company they keep. We are not required to withdraw ourselves from the world – if we did then there would be no need to be on guard. What is required is that we are in the world, but not part of it.
I suppose the acid test would be – ‘Would you be happy if Jesus returned and found you watching, reading, or doing the particular thing that is distracting you from focusing on him?’
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