If we are going to remain healthy we have to take care of our hearts. A person’s heart, according to the Bible, is the seat of his emotions and his thoughts. In western culture we have usually equated our hearts with just our emotions, but to the original readers of the Bible they understood the heart to be person’s true self. It is what motivates you to act when no one else is watching. That is why it is so important for our hearts to be healthy. Consider what Erwin McManus wrote: “When your heart is sick, it can spread everywhere. Like a cancer, despair in the human soul can cause all kinds of malfunctions” (Uprising; p. 133).
Having a sick heart makes life more difficult and can ruin our lives. To have a sick heart means that we will be depressed, anger, confused, and fearful. Rather than living a life of hope our life will be full of despair. A sick heart will keep us from experiencing the life God wants us to enjoy.
Proverbs 4:23 reads: Guard your heart with all vigilance, for from it are the sources of life (NET). Solomon tells us that the condition of hearts is very important, so important we have to guard them. This is what we fail to do. I believe we are good at making sure were are studying the Bible, worshipping, have fellowship with other Christians, and even serving in some capacity. Our hearts become sick not because of a lack of good, but because of the presence of bad.
In other words our hearts become sick because we do not guard our hearts like we should. We allow too much of the bad into our lives. Whether this is in the form of images we allow into our minds through the various types of visual media, continuing habitual sin, or spending time with people who drag us down. When we don’t work at guard our hearts they get damaged or they get sick.
So how do we guard our hearts?
6 Do not be anxious about anything. Instead, in every situation, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, tell your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is worthy of respect, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if something is excellent or praiseworthy, think about these things. 9 And what you learned and received and heard and saw in me, do these things. And the God of peace will be with you (Philippians 4:6-9; NET).
We guard our hearts by faith. The most basic way we demonstrate our faith in God is through prayer. Prayer is trusting God to work our worries and problems out for good. Sometimes all we need is to acknowledge our problems so we can get a proper perspective on things. Other times we need God’s supernatural intervention. Pray helps guard our hearts.
We guard our hearts by thinking good thoughts. When we put garbage into our hearts our hearts will be consumed by garbage. We have to be vigilant with what we are fueling our thoughts with. We can’t concentrate on the things of God if our minds and hearts filled with junk. Take note of what you are putting in and make changes.
The heart is important, essential, to our health. We need to work hard to guard our hearts from damage and sickness. When our hearts our healthy then our lives, no matter what the circumstances are, will always have hope.
Point to Ponder: Our hearts become sick not because of a lack of good, but because of the presence of bad.
Passage to Remember: Philippians 4:6-9
Question to Consider: What are you filling your heart with?