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Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life. – Proverbs 4:23
The heart is a tricky little thing – it can be fickle. Or envious. Or joyful. Or anxious, rejected, disappointed. It can be content.
Sometimes it can be all of the above depending on the hour/day/week/month.
However, there’s one thing I can say with strong conviction: the heart matters. Big time.
We can try to squelch it, silence it, stomp on it, dismiss it and deny it all we want – eventually, the truth boils up and if we let it fester too long, some pretty ugly stuff attaches itself along for the ride – and it wasn’t even there in the first place.
Ever thought of those three impactful words? Above. All. Else.
There’s no action that we can “do” that trumps the guarding of our hearts and yet before the past two years taught me otherwise, there I stood, waving it out for the world to devour.
It means that we have the wisdom to know what is good for our hearts and what is not and the self-control to stay away from what isn’t.
If the eye is the lamp of the body (Matthew 6:22) and they send rays to the world of who we are, then what we expose them to will be what is beamed out to others.
What do we want to shine-out from our eyes?
I was talking to a friend of mine the other day who has a daughter that struggles in school. She is an incredibly bright girl but her mind doesn’t work in the traditional sense so her grades are not the best.
“I finally had to quit getting on Facebook because I was so tired of people posting about how their children were so smart and solving world peace and going on mission trips to Africa at the age of ten,” she said.
In other words, comparison strikes again.
The very thing that tramples our gratitude which in turn leads us to dampen our joy and starts to chip away our trust in God. (And yes, my friend gave me permission to discuss this so don’t you all think I’m going to analyze every little thing you say or fear I’ll write about a conversation we have.)
If we must guard our hearts “above all else” then there are many of us (myself included) allowing the spirit of comparison through the gates.
And what does that do to our wellspring?
What we put in has a direct correlation to what we think, sisters.
Garbage in, garbage out – but, goodness in, goodness out. Thank God for the antidote.
So if our spirit is lagging and our thoughts are dragging, then perhaps we need to ask God to enter into this and reveal what isn’t bearing much fruit.
And while we’re at it, let’s ask Him to replace the spirit of comparison with one of contentment and self-control.
In what ways have you felt led to guard your heart this year? What effect has this choice had on you?