Staying healthy is an important part of our lives. From a Christian perspective, maintaining our health is part of being good steward of the life God has given us.
If this is true for our physical lives, it is certainly true for our spiritual lives. In fact, I would say the two are linked. At the core of our spiritual health is our heart. 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).
This is why Solomon wrote guard your heart above all else. The condition of our heart is going to influence every other area of our lives. Our hearts determine our thoughts and our actions, so if something is wrong with our hearts, it will affect the rest of our lives.
How do we guard our hearts?
I think the apostle Paul provides us with an answer:
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you. (Philippians 4:6-9; NLT)
There are two actions we must take to guard our hearts.
- We live by faith. This isn’t just simply believing that God exists, but it is trusting God. The element of faith that Paul focused on in this passage is prayer. We are to turn all our worry, uncertainty, and our doubts over to God. In return God will grant us peace. This peace will guard your hearts and minds. Here Paul gave only one example to illustrate how faith guards our hearts. A life of faith will guard our hearts with hope, joy, and love in addition to peace.
- We think proper thoughts. The conversations we have with people, the videos that we watch, the podcasts that we listen to, and the blogs that we read all provide fuel for our thoughts. Bad fuel will make our hearts sick, because our hearts are the factories of our thoughts. This is why Paul emphasized that we are to focus on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Being vigilante about what we read, watch, and listen to will provide a healthy environment for our hearts.
God has blessed us with life. We have the responsibility of caring for this life, and that requires keeping our heart healthy. Guard your heart by faith and right thinking, and keep you heart healthy.
Questions to consider:
- What is it like to have a sick heart?
- Are there other ways we can guard our hearts?
- What do you do to focus on the true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, and admirable things of life?