Guard Your Heart
It saddens me when I hear someone has fallen morally in their life; however, I’m rarely surprised. We live in a fallen world. In a time of ever increasing distraction and tolerance we tend to compromise our values and allow “stuff” to creep into our hearts that ultimately lead to our destruction.
Early in my marriage I was lucky to have a mentor in my life that guided me through the mine-field of mistakes that often plague young couples early in their marriage. The greatest lesson he taught me was to guard my heart.
“What do you mean by that?” I asked.
“It’s simple.” He responded, “Your soul is a fragile treasure that must be guarded. You do this by taking proactive measures to guard and protect it.”
He began to teach me how to guard my heart in a way that would allow me to protect myself and my marriage from the temptations that often devour and destroy a marriage and a family. He explained how life is like a battle and the prize for the enemy is my soul. I must surround myself with strong barriers to protect and guard my heart. Each layer helps to keep me safe and prepared for attacks of temptation and compromise. Here are the barriers of protection:
- Relationship with the Lord – Stay in relationship with God through daily Bible study and prayer. Something changes in our hearts when we openly accept and commune with the Lord.
- Daily Reading – Reading good books that strengthen our minds and our resolve is important to maintain a strong mind. Reading teaches us to think critically and to not be drawn into following something or someone blindly.
- Association – Surrounding ourselves with good people that influence positive thinking and behavior is important. We become who we hang out with, which is why we should be selective on who we spend our time with on a regular basis.
- Rest – We make mistakes when were tired. I try not to make critical decisions without plenty of rest and a clear mind. Our culture is sleep deprived and I find that danger follows those that are constantly in a state of exhaustion. Rest is important and must be a priority.
- Consume good things – Being selective on what we allow into our bodies is important. This includes the food we eat, the beverages we drink, the movies we watch, and the music we consume, basically anything that penetrates and enters our body through our mouths, our eyes, and our ears. Being conscience of what we allow to enter our bodies is paramount to long term mental and physical health.
- Forgiveness – The world will let us down. People will let us down. We will be hurt by the world, but we must not allow the sour taste of bitterness to dominate our minds and souls. Be quick to forgive and to let go of past hurts so they won’t consume our lives and block us from living a full life.
- Accountability – Having someone in our lives that we can trust to hold us accountable is important. Life happens and we let our guard down. Having someone close that can support us on your journey and ensure we don’t get off our paths will go a long way to help us maintain a strong defense against the dark corners of life.
There is no doubt that a constant battle rages for our hearts and minds. The critical question is, are we exposed or have we taken measures to guard our hearts? What can you do today to put up a barrier that will protect you from temptation?