How’s Your Heart?

guard your heart“Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life” (Proverbs 4:23).

Vigilance. Interesting word choice. My dictionary defines it like this: “The action or state of keeping careful watch for possible danger or difficulties.”

Vigilance is closely related to a fairly common word, vigilante. We’ve seen them in television shows and movies, and even heard about them occasionally in the news. A vigilante is a person who is not an officially appointed law officer, but someone who tries to catch and punish criminals. They want to stop the bad guys. They intentionally go out of their way to keep bad people from doing things they shouldn’t be doing. Whether you think vigilantes are a good idea or not, the point is that their intended hope is to protect people who are, or may be, in danger.

That’s sort of like what we’re supposed to do with our hearts. We want to protect it from bad things. We’re supposed to keep a careful watch for possible danger or difficulties.

But this verse doesn’t just tell us what to do; it also tells us why.

For from it, your heart, flow the springs of life. The springs of life. It is, for all practical purposes, the source—the NIV calls it the “wellspring”—of life. The New Living Translation says, “For it determines the course of your life.”

No matter how you phrase it, the heart is clearly paramount to life.

So, be vigilant with yours. Guard it. Protect it vigilantly. Don’t let bad guys—and there are lots of them: resentment, laziness, anger, sinful desires, unforgiveness, fear … the list could go on and on—overtake your heart.

Remember: your heart determines the course of your life. Keep it with all vigilance.

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