Guard Your Heart!
by ALisa Casas
If you have been a Christ follower for any length of time, you’ve probably heard the phrase, “Guard your heart.” Proverbs 4:23 admonishes us to take care with what we allow into our hearts because “everything you do flows from it” (Pr 4:23b NIV).
Have you ever wondered how you are to guard your heart, is it really that important?
When Jesus was preparing his disciples for his impending death and burial, his first words were “Do not let your hearts be troubled” (John 14:1 NIV). The disciples were about to undergo an incredible test of faith. Within a matter of days, Jesus would be scourged, crucified, and dead. Yet, His first words of counsel to the disciples were a simple command: “Do not let your hearts be troubled.”
On a daily basis it seems as if we are assaulted by pain, death, stress, ill health, unfair situations, and hatefulness. It can seem a never ending struggle to keep our hearts from being overcome by troubles and discouragement. While the difficulties we face are real and can cause pain, we must take care that our pain does not turn into bitterness. Bitterness is what we need to guard against.
After a particularly trying time in my job recently, I was spending a lot of time in introspection and prayer. It seemed that nothing I did would lift the dark feelings of unfairness and disappointment. As the days passed I became increasingly irritated and irritable. No one around me was safe because I had a sharp response for just about every statement that came my way. Yesterday I noticed that I had gone from angry to bitter, and realized I was on a path that would take me from disappointment to self-destruction. It was a very sobering thought. I had been wronged, but I was just a step away from being my own worst enemy.
What caught my attention and jerked me back into repentance?
Attending the funeral of a dear friend whose body had been ravaged by cancer and seeing a video presentation she arranged to have played at her service. The video was about gratitude. Such a simple but profound thing: gratitude. My friend lived her life with gratitude and she shared her love and attitude of gratitude with everyone. She chose to be grateful even in her last days, and because of that, she never once bitterly said “Why me?”
I love Scripture and I love my Lord with all of my heart. Occasionally I have a hard time seeing outside my circumstances, but I don’t ever want to be completely blind. Sometimes I need a push or even a dramatic spiritual shake to get myself out of a rut and back into His way.
Do you feel the same way sometimes? Ask God to help you guard your heart.
ALisa Casas is a passionate Jesus follower, wife to a retired Marine, mother to three daughters and grandmother to one adorable Piper-girl. ALisa is also pursuing her Bachelors Degree in Communications and works as a Studio Operations Manager for a Cable Television Station in Southern Maryland. Her position at the cable station allows her to help spread the good news of people doing amazing things in the name of Jesus. ALisa loves speaking, writing, and sharing the amazing things that God does everyday. He is in every detail. While she doesn’t have a website at the moment, she is grateful beyond words to be a part of this ministry and can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org and on her Facebook page.
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