How many times have you heard the phrase “guard your heart?” It’s not just some mantra that has been passed down from generation to generation, it comes from a verse in the Bible.
“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.” (Proverbs 4:23 NLT)
Proverbs is considered the Book of Wisdom, providing us with instruction to live our lives without having to always find out about things the hard way. Like many verses in the Bible, I think this one gets twisted depending on who you’re talking to – mostly because a lot of people think that its referring exclusively to romantic relationships.
Although studies have shown that it really is our brain that rules our emotions, not our hearts, we’re still going to use the term heart. Your heart is what keeps you alive. If that were not the case, people could not continue to breathe after being declared brain dead. Our hearts are the essence of who we are. It holds the key to our innermost emotions and feelings and it can be broken or it can be in a state of bliss. Hearts can also be ugly and reveal things about us that we’d rather keep quiet.
Guarding your heart simply means that we should be mindful of what we let in. We have to be selective in everything that we do, not just with who we choose to be our life partner. We let whatever we spend time with inside of our hearts…inside our personal space. It has access to our feelings and can make us happy or sad. It can stay on our minds and make us depressed or confused. It can get in the way of us putting all of our attention on what’s important in our lives, like our spiritual connection with God (or whoever you worship), knowing what our purpose is and working toward that and building loving, healthy relationships with our family and friends.