Monday, May 4, 2009

Guard Your Heart

Do you remember this song?

Oh be careful little eyes what you see
Oh be careful little eyes what you see
For the Father up above
Is looking down in love
Oh be careful little eyes what you see

It was a song I learned as a little child. It may have been in Sunday School. It might have been in our home. But I learned the words long ago.

And I continue to be reminded of the truth.

I thought of that song this morning as I read Proverbs 5:23

Above all else, guard your heart,
for it is the wellspring of life.

Out of the heart flow decisions,





our destiny.

For example, suppose you have a choice of how to use a couple of hours. You can either spend time on your favorite hobby (hunting, golf, surfing the net, a night out with the guys/or girls having fun)


you could spend that time with your child, your parent, your spouse, or someone else who would appreciate your attention.

What do you choose?

Here's another one. You're by yourself and your going to listen to some music or watch a movie or surf the web. And you have a choice. You can go to that site or song or show that looks very attractive, (but you know at best it's a HUGE waste of time and at worst it's not something you'd want to tell grandma or the pastor about)


You can shut it off and go do something that would be a better use of your time.

What do you choose?

Here's one more.

You go the kitchen to have a snack. You could have some fresh fruit...


you could have that last, extra-large piece of cake or dive into a bag of chips.

What do you choose?

In many ways, we have already made the choice BEFORE the moment of truth arrives.

Another song on this very subject, entitled appropriately enough, "Guard Your Heart" says:

The human heart is easily swayed
And often betrayed
At the hand of emotion
We dare not leave the outcome to chance
We must choose in advance
Or live with the agony
Such needless tragedy

Guard your heart
Guard your heart
Don't trade it for treasure
Don't give it away
Guard your heart
Guard your heart
As a payment for pleasure
It's a high price to pay

For a soul that remains sincere
With a conscience clear
Guard your heart

I don't know who wrote it. But they were right on.

So how do you guard your heart? Here are a few thoughts:

- Practice Sabbath: God tells us 1 day out of 7 is set aside to be kept holy, without work. Life gets out of balance in a hurry when every day is spent running and rushing. Our heart becomes open to attacks from a variety of places.

- Be Intentional about your Activities: Find the things that consistently draw you closer to God, make you aware of the Spirit's presence in your life, and regularly incorporate them into your day or week. Maybe that is a walk in the woods, sitting down with your Bible and a cup of coffee, listening to music that increases your faith, reading e-mails from well-meaning pastors... Whatever. Find your activity and do it regularly.

- Seek out Faith Partners: Who are the people that draw out God's best in you. Find a few of the people who encourage you to allow the image of Christ to be shaped in your life and calendar regular times to be with them. (You know, SUNDAY AT 11AM is a great time for you and your family!)

- Choose in Advance: If there are areas where you know the battle is being fought, decide up front what you will/won't do. If the battleground is food, plan ahead of time what you're going to eat. If the battleground is gossip, decide who you might not seek out and what topics you'll try to avoid. If the battle is entertainment such as movies and websites, do your best to be accountable to someone else.

Guarding your heart is a lifelong challenge. But the prizes for doing it are unbeatable, both for you and those you love.

May we encourage each other to guard our hearts.

Grace & peace

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