2 Areas of Your Life to Watch Over
By Ronnie Floyd
“The highway of the upright is to depart from evil; He who keeps his way preserves his soul.”
Watch what is going on around you. Watch what is going on in you. Watch what all the gauges are telling you about your life.
In the Scripture, we are instructed to watch over our life and all God gives to us.1 Our future way in life and even the preservation of our life can depend on our intentionality, discipline, and watchfulness. The Bible calls upon the watchman to watch over the city at night while others sleep.2 The Bible also calls upon spiritual watchmen to watch over the people of God in prayer continually.3 It also calls each person to watch out for people around them.4 We are even told to watch for the Lord’s soon return.5
There is another way we see this word watch used in the Scripture, depending on the translation. We are called upon to watch over our own life, to avoid evil, and to protect our life. Proverbs 16:17 says, “The highway of the upright avoids evil; the one who guards his way protects his life.” If you will keep your life going on the right highway, you will avoid evil or any detour from the road that God wants you to travel. Then the Scripture says that as you guard or watch over your own life effectively, you will protect or keep your life from trouble in the future.
The word translated here as guard is the Hebrew word nat sar, meaning to guard, watch over, or keep watch over your life so you can observe it properly, and save your life.6
I find it interesting how various translations and paraphrases communicate the heart of the verse. Notice these examples from Proverbs 16:17.
• “The highway of the upright is to depart from evil; He who keeps his way preserves his soul.” (nkjv)
• “The highway of the upright turns aside from evil; whoever guards his way preserves his life.” (esv)
• “The highway of the upright is to depart from evil: he that keepeth his way preserveth his soul.” (kjv)
• “The highway of the upright is to depart from evil; He who watches his way preserves his life.” (nasb)
• “The path of the godly leads away from evil; he who follows that path is safe.” (tlb)
• “The road of right living bypasses evil; watch your step and save your life.” (The Message)
Each of these offers a nuanced perspective, but the translations and interpretations are consistent. They all relate to guarding, watching, or keeping. We are called to carefully watch over our lives.
What is going on around you will, many times, bring out what is really in you. This can be quite revealing. When the wheels of your life start to fall off, your emotional gauge begins to reflect it.
Here are two actions to take to watch over your life effectively:
Action 1: Watch your gauges consistently.
Recognize, read, monitor, and act upon what each of the five gauges of your life are registering. Measure consistently to see whether you are living fit spiritually, physically, relationally, financially, and emotionally.
Action 2: Watch your steps daily.
What you do each moment, every day, in these five areas of your life will determine your overall level of fitness. Connectedness exists between each of these areas. It is essential to keep watch over not just each one, but all of them together, because this will determine how healthy you really are. The only antidote to this is to watch your steps daily.
Therefore, a key to living fit is to live watchfully.
2. Isaiah 62:6.
3. Isaiah 62:7.
4. Hebrews 10:24.
5. Matthew 24:42–44.
6. W. E. Vines, Merrill F. Unger, and William White Jr., An Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words
This is an excerpt from Ronnie Floyd’s new book Living Fit: Making Your Life Count by Pursuing a Healthy You. Pick up a copy here: http://a.co/aurUXnY
Dr. Ronnie Floyd is the Senior Pastor of Cross Church, Immediate Past President of the Southern Baptist Convention, founder of the Cross Church School of Ministry, and host of the Ronnie Floyd on Life and Leadership Today podcast.