Guard Your Heart

By: Kristen L. McNulty

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Proverbs 4:23 instructs us, "Above all, guard your heart for it is the wellspring of life." This is a wise piece of advice, but how often do we forget to follow it? We live our lives day by day and leave our hearts wide open for the taking and we're attacked at all sides by sources that chip away at it. Our jobs, people in our lives, the circumstances we face, all these things can wear down our heart until the point that it no longer looks like the one God created for us.

Instead of feeling whole and complete and alive, we're barely hanging on. Our broken and damaged hearts translate into broken and unfulfilled lives.

General George Patton once said "A lot of people die at 40, but are not buried until 30 years later." George Patton is right. Because we tend to leave our hearts wide out in the open for people and circumstances to chip away at, most of us don't have much life left in us by the time we reach middle age. Sadly, instead of realizing this and making corrections, we drift into oblivion and forget what it felt like to really live.

So what does guarding our heart look like? Does that mean we never let anyone in? No. But it does mean we get selective. So often we pour our hearts into things that lead nowhere and are not good for us. Whether that is a job that has become more of an addiction or a relationship that isn't healthy or a constant source of criticism we can't seem to silence. God gave us hearts to share, but He never intended for us to allow people to steal those very same hearts.

Just like anything else that He blesses us with, our hearts are a gift that was meant to use wisely. Using it wisely means guarding it from things that can chip away at it, but also constantly going to the very Source of Life. The One who created us and can sustain us. The One who can fill us up when we start to get close to empty. When God is a very real part of our lives and our hearts are His, He can help us sift through the garbage that we've accumulated and give us the wisdom to know when to keep our guards up and when to let them down. And when we do get beaten and battered down by what we face in life, it's God who can sustain our hearts. As Psalm 73:26 says,

"My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; He is mine forever."

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This devotional was aired as a part of the Making A Difference Christian Radio Show.