“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. Keep your mouth free of perversity; keep corrupt talk far from your lips. Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you. Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways.”
Solomon mentions the responsibility we have for what’s in our heart, for what we speak, look at, and think. Carefully monitoring what and why we think speak and feel the way we do, empowers us to direct our life where we need to go, to fulfill our God-given purpose in life.
“Above all else” Solomon says, which makes what follows the highest priority. The Hebrew more accurately says “of all guarding,” so this highest priority is a lifestyle. Make watching over what comes in and what goes out of your heart, your number one responsibility in life.
Guard Your Heart
It’s no secret that how you behave originates in your heart (subconscious). Your subconscious mind, or “heart” is the control center. This is where your core values reside. From there you will think say and do things automatically. This is where your conscience rules as your guide for right/wrong, appropriate/inappropriate behavior. How important it is to guard this area, because who you are and will eventually become is decided here.
Jesus said “A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.” (Luke 6:45)
Be Careful What You Think
The life you are living now, how you act and react to the world around you, is the result of what you’ve allowed to remain in your heart in the past. Solomon and Jesus teach that your heart must be guarded more carefully than anything else. It’s been said that “It’s not what happens to you, but what happens in you when things happen, that sets the course of your life.”
We’re all responsible for keeping and upholding the godly wisdom that we’ve received. We’re to protect our heart from entertaining false or misleading teaching. Paul warned the Church at Colossae saying; “See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ. (Colossians 2:8)
Develop Self-Awareness and Self-Control
Solomon wrote much about the heart, mind, eyes, ears, and mouth. Everything you see and hear causes you to think. Whatever filter you’re using to process that information, will form your opinions and settle in your heart, becoming part of your core values. Without thinking, you’ll automatically voice those opinions, because they’re flowing from your heart (just as Solomon and Jesus said they would).
I encourage you to develop self-awareness as Paul instructed; “Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test?” (2 Corinthians 13:5)
Make guarding your heart your highest priority, monitor what you allow your eyes to see, your ears to listen to, and your mouth to speak. Think on those things that God approves of, and that will make you more productive in your Kingdom assignment.
Use Philippians 4:8-9 as a guideline, and after giving careful thought to the choices you make, you’ll become steadfast in all your ways, And you’ll Be Encouraged! -JSP