“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.” Proverbs 4:23
When the Bible says to guard our hearts, often times we associate it with romantic relationships and not getting too “carried away by love”. This is a verse that is often thrown around to singles that are interested in someone, or maybe have just started dating.
I get it. I truly do.
But it makes me wonder why we tie up this verse with romantic relationships when there is so much more behind it. I’ve seen it’s so often misinterpreted and misunderstood.
Can I say something? LOVE is NOT our heart. A.k.a. love ≠ heart.
Can I say it again? Love does not have anything to do with our hearts.
Now, before I get hit with something, let me explain. Better yet, let’s look at what the Bible says about our hearts:
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
That’s our hearts. And love?
1 Corinthians 13:4-6
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
So before you justify your way out of showing love because you have to “protect your heart”, listen up: we are commanded to love above all things.
“Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”
“The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”
The difference between our hearts and love is that love is committed action, while our hearts waver.
And our hearts will keep us from love. Our hearts will keep us from believing God’s promises. Our hearts will keep us from kindness. Our hearts will steer us from purity.
Ceasing to love, then, is not the response to protecting our hearts. There are many ways of showing love that do NOT involve romantic involvement. Love away!
Now, let’s talk about how we can protect our hearts.
Have you ever thought and believed something that turned out to be terribly off from the truth? Have you ever tried to justify your actions in your mind, done them, and then realized they were – again – terribly wrong? Have you ever started assuming things about somebody, grown a deep dislike for the person and then realized that the person was not at all what we thought he/she would be like?
Our hearts assume, blur, and can carry us away from truth.
So yes, to all those single folks: protect your heart! Have someone whom you are accountable to. Don’t put yourself in situations where you might blur away the reality of what’s really going on. Let God and truth be the forefront of your relationship – not your feelings. Not your heart..
Now back to everyone: protecting your heart has to be done daily, in light of a variety of subjects and situations. Not protecting your heart will lead you to being hurt, and can rob you of joy, peace, harmony and enjoying the many blessings that God has given you.
For this, and to help myself as well, let’s follow this guide:
- Stop entertaining thoughts that move you away from peace.The more you do, the more they become like truth in your mind.
- Stop feeding your assumptions.
- Stop dwelling over bad experiences from your past. The devil will use this to keep you from opening up to redemption.
- Stop looking at that profile from the one that hurt you, over and over. You’re only hurting yourself.
- Stop believing things about others that lower and condemn them.
- Stop assuming things about others because of their circumstances.
- Stop believing things about yourself because of other’s actions.
- Stop believing things about yourself because of circumstances you are facing.
Stop poisoning your heart.
See others through His glass. See yourself through His eyes.
God loved you enough to die for you. You are valuable and loved by God.
God loved them enough to die for them. They are valuable and loved by God.
Stop turning your mind against your brothers, sisters, friends and leaders.
Let go. Seek harmony and peace. Feed your love. Confront your thoughts with truth.
That’s how you protect your heart.
“But this is what you must do: Tell the truth to each other. Render verdicts in your courts that are just and that lead to peace. Don’t scheme against each other. Stop your love of telling lies that you swear are the truth. I hate all these things, says the Lord.”
“Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.”
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”