Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. (Proverbs 4:23)
What is the most valuable thing in your home? What would happen if it was stolen or lost? You might be able to replace the item with savings or insurance—which is a hassle to be sure, but not a total disaster. Now, what is the most priceless item in your house emotionally? Perhaps, like me, it’s a photo album, or another item that tells the story of a time past. If this was taken from your home, it would be nearly impossible to replace. You would have to accept its loss. You’d be sad, but life would go on. The truth is that if a thief broke into your home and stole everything of value, he wouldn’t have taken the most valuable thing—because he could not steal your most precious treasure…your heart.
In fact, the only way a heart can be stolen is if you have attached it to someone or something else that can steal it. Then your loss could be truly great. This is the reason God tells us to love Him with our entire hearts—because in Him alone our hearts are kept safe. Your heart, or “affections,” as one Bible version puts it, has the power to “inﬂuence everything else in your life” (Proverbs 4:23 TLB).
The verse that tells us to guard our hearts also describes it as a “wellspring.” A wellspring is a source of clean, fresh, safe water that nourishes the life of the plants and animals surrounding it. It certainly inﬂuences everything around it. Civilization tends to spring up around water sources. In arid places, the spring is literally the difference between life and death. If it is contaminated somehow, or if it is cut off from its source deep within the earth, everything in the area is affected. Things wither and die. So a wellspring is worth guarding and caring for, protecting from pollution, and maintaining its connection to the source.
We guard our hearts as if they are providing life-giving springs of water to our lives. We guard them from being poisoned by pollution when we keep them from bitterness and offense. We guard them from drought by staying connected to the true source through prayer and praise. We guard them from unhealthy affections by not attaching them to unreliable things of this world that can steal our hearts away. When you diligently guard your heart, loving the “Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind,” as Jesus commanded, He will keep you safe and ﬂourishing (Matthew 22:37).
Lisa Bevere appears on LIFE TODAY this Monday and Tuesday. Taken from Strong: Devotions To Live A Powerful & Passionate Life by Lisa Bevere. Copyright ©March 2020 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission of Thomas Nelson.