Keeping Your Heart
By Angela Mackey
Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life. Proverbs 4:23 ESV
Crunch! Crunch! Crunch!
I knew that noise well – the sound of plastic in my dog’s mouth.
“Lexi! Drop!” I scold as I pry her jaws open to find a slobbery white Lego block.
She is only a puppy – not even six months old yet. So I have to keep an eye on her. If I get lackadaisical and lose sight of her for too long she will find something to chew.
The same could be said for my heart. Jeremiah 17:9 ESV says,
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?
If I let my heart get set on something other than God, it gets off track and I allow my emotions to dictate my actions. And those emotions can lie.
I start off with great intentions. I want my kids to understand Thanksgiving or Christmas, so I come up with a great gratitude activity. However, something happens to ruin the ideal I have my heart set on. Maybe my husband seems unenthusiastic, my kids “don’t like” the activity, someone’s offhanded comment hurt my feelings, or I woke up cranky. I feel like my holiday is ruined and my family wasn’t grateful for anything.
Instead, I need to set my heart on God and keep it there. Instead of placing the success or failure of a holiday on my capricious emotions, I need to keep my eyes on Jesus. I need to remember to give thanks for my kids with strong opinions, my husband who works hard for us, and for the many daily blessings I sometimes take for granted.
I need to make sure my heart is set to trust God to defend me when I am wronged rather than working out retribution for myself. I need to tune my heart to both love God and people who are not always easy to love.
When my heart is filled with the love God gives and set on bringing Him glory, no circumstance can steal my joy.
Daily (more often if necessary) do a heart check.
Ask what is my heart set on today? Are my thoughts helping to keep my heart set on things above?
Consider memorizing some scripture to help you guard your heart.
Father God, my heart so easily strays from You. Help me to keep my heart and mind focused on You so that I can bring You glory in every circumstance. Thank You for Jesus and the Holy Spirit that makes guarding my heart possible. Amen.
© 2018 by Angela Mackey. All rights reserved.
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