Above all else, guard your heart, for it determines the course of your life. – Proverbs 4:23
I know for many that when they first read this verse – especially the guard your heart part – their first thought is guarding themselves against others. Possibly against a guy who may have wrong intentions or against someone who could possibly hurt them. My Pastor’s wife recently used this verse alongside Ephesians 4:31 which instructs us to, “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice,” and mentioned a woman she knew who was determined to always guard her heart against bitterness.
I love the experiences of life – the highs we feel and the moments we conquer, but I’m not naïve to its below the belt blows. The seasons that leave you struggling to find one thing to be grateful for – I’m sure you know them. With such seasons come a range of negative feelings, and when these feelings embed themselves in your heart and make a home there, they have the consent to direct the course of your life. Bitterness, anger, slander and brawling, in our carnality these can be responses to hard seasons, but in you not guarding your heart against such you are giving them consent to lead your life.
Like the woman my Pastor’s wife spoke of I want to refuse to allow any such feelings into my heart as I can’t afford to have my life directed by their influence. When I feel a hint of bitterness emerging as a response to someone or a situation I want to nip it in the bud and intentionally refocus my heart and feelings on God.
Prayer | Father, give us the wisdom and grace to nip any bitterness in the bud and to not allow it to take root in our hearts.