Guard Your Heart.
Proverbs Four, verse Twenty Three, from the Amplified Bible, says Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.
Why is this important, you might inquire.
This is necessary for at least three reasons:
- Because your heart is extremely valuable. We don’t guard worthless things. I take my garbage to the street every Wednesday night. It is picked up on Thursday morning. It sits on the sidewalk all night, completely unguarded. Why? Because it is worthless.
Not so with your heart. It is the essence of who you are. It is your authentic self—the core of your being. It is where all your dreams, your desires, and your passions live. It is that part of you that connects with God and other people.
Just like your physical body, if your heart—your spiritual heart—dies, your leadership dies. This is why Solomon says, “Above all else.” He doesn’t say, “If you get around to it” or “It would be nice if.” No, he says, make it your top priority.
- Because your heart is the source of everything you do. King Solomon says it is the “wellspring of life.” In other words, it is the source of everything else in your life. Your heart overflows into thoughts, words, and actions.
Uganda has an intricate collection of lakes, springs, rivers, rivulets, and water tributaries feeding different parts of the country, thus the tag line ‘Gifted By Nature’.
If you plug a spring, you stop the flow of water. If you poison the water, the flow becomes toxic. In either situation, you threaten life downstream. Everything depends on the condition of the spring.
Likewise, if your heart is unhealthy, it has an impact on everything else. It threatens your family, your friends, your ministry, your career, and, indeed, your legacy. It is, therefore, imperative that you guard it.
- Because your heart is under constant attack. When Solomon says to guard your heart, he implies that you are living in a combat zone—one in which there are casualties.
Many of us are oblivious to the reality of this war. We have an enemy who is bent on our destruction. He not only opposes God, but he opposes everything that is aligned with Him—including us.
In life, we are bound to find ourselves in situations that require a presence of mind. So much so that when faced with aggression or grief, we shall consciously choose to respond in a way that extends the other person grace. I am being taught, in moments of quiet solitude, that most times, all we are required to do, is rest in the truth that is His Word.
Trusting in Him with all your heart, and leaning not on your own understanding, acknowledging Him in all your ways, that He shall direct your paths, is such a cliché. Look around you, how many people can you read, that are in one anxious state or another, on account of money? Don’t be quick to judge anyone. Take a moment, breathe the space in, and slowly, almost methodically, pick out one or two signs around you, hat show the presence of anxiety, attributing it to money or the lack of it thereof. Share it with me in the comments section at the end of this blog, won’t you? Thank you.
I am learning to entrust Him with my doubts about myself and those around me, asking under my breath, that He’ll speak to me in a language that only I understand, do you see my need for His ability to call me by name, and that I may hear His voice and respond to Him, like the true Shepherd that he is to me. A moment-to-moment encounter of His presence is becoming my biggest desire of Him.
It is no longer enough for me to hear about Him through other peoples’ encounters with Him. I want to believe. Not because someone saw into the future and saw me, but because He is all knowing, and has loved us enough, individually, to take our place on the cross, was killed, died and was buried, and on the third day He rose again.
Permit me to share moments from the days this passed week.
The African Union marked it’s thirtieth, with H. E. President Paul Kagame ascended the echelons of that platform. My thoughts toward this sequence of events has me feeling optimistic, considering the press there is about Rwanda, I am yet to visit that beautiful nation. Have you been? What can you tell me about it? The technology savy cities and the food, mmm, street food? Drop me a line in the comments, won’t you? Thank you. I envision operationally efficient CCtv networks across the transport lines that cross the African Continent. I’m talking about railway grids, water ways, road networks, mention it.
Think about efficient medical drops by drones to far-to-reach areas. And will they still be far to reach, once the transport bottlenecks plaguing the continent have been automated and streamlined? You tell me. Thank you.
The doubts in my head might sound a little like the rhetoric at a taxi parks anywhere in Lang-ata, Or Down Town Kampala, taking place amongst the taxi operators and drivers, and you might not come away as hopeful, a few lines earlier.
On the program this morning, a colleague shared a video clip of a church minister admonishing the worship team for showing up with no bra on. Needless to say, she brought the house down with her take on the matter. The conversation then descended into a chorus about the people wearing the inappropriate wardrobe in spaces that do not warrant the attention that the raiment attract. What do you think, “Does it matter what cover the book bears before you determine that it’s one you want to read?” Feel free to run with that statement, in the comments below. I would like to read about where that took you.
It will depend on what’s filling your heart. Jesus said, ‘Out of the abundance of the heart [the] mouth speaks’ as taken from Luke Six verse Forty Five. A critical heart produces a critical tongue. A self-righteous heart produces a judgmental tongue. A bitter heart produces an acerbic tongue. An ungrateful heart produces a grumbling tongue.
“The words you speak will all depend on what’s filling your heart.”
But a loving heart produces a gracious tongue. A faithful heart produces a truthful tongue. A peaceful heart produces a reconciling tongue. A trusting heart produces an encouraging tongue.
So fill your heart with grace by soaking in your Bible. Soak in Matthew 5, or Romans 12, or 1 Corinthians 13, or Philippians 2. And be very careful taking in the words of death in the newspaper, the radio, the TV, or the blog.
And pray: ‘Set a guard, O Lords, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips!’ as seen in Psalm One hundred and Forty One verse Three.
In conclusion, today, make your mouth a ‘fountain of life’. Be ‘slow to speak’ in general. Encourage more than you critique. Seek opportunities to speak kind, tenderhearted words. Say something affectionate to the loved ones at different times. Seek to only speak words that are ‘good for building up,’ that ‘give grace to those who hear.’
Be a person whose mouth is full of life.