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|Guard Your Heart!
|Thursday, February 19, 2015|
“What’s in your wallet?”
So goes the popular ad campaign.
But I have a different question for you:
“What’s in your heart?”
With Valentine’s Day in the rearview mirror, I’m reminded of Proverbs 4:23: “Above all, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”
Puritan John Flavel once claimed, “The keeping and right managing of the heart in every condition is the great business of a Christian’s life.”
Peter Moffett staunchly advocates, “Rather look to the defending of thy heart, than to the defending of thy house.”
To a culture like ours, the keeping of a heart seems a quaint concept more at home in an episode of Downton Abbey than in any personal life strategy. But if the heart really is the sole entrance to the inner person, oughtn’t our sensibilities to be awakened?
Consider the close attention we give to the doors of a house. We give them locks, deadbolts, chains, alarm systems—or some combination of all of those. We even protect the doors that protect us by coating them with paint or varnish.
Most of us do far less when it comes to securing our hearts. We underestimate our hearts’ fragility and susceptibility. At the same time, we overestimate our own innate goodness or ability to sift through or reject unwanted evil. That’s when the trouble begins.
In his treatise, Guarding Your Heart, Arthur Pink offers a quick litmus test for whether your heart has been compromised. He writes, “It is in the heart that all backsliding begins. Observe closely your affections and see whether God or the world is gaining ground in them. Watch whether you experience increasing profit and pleasure in reading God’s Word, or whether you have to force yourself to it in order to discharge a duty. Observe the same thing in connection with prayer.”
So I ask again, what’s in your heart?
John Flavel was right: “The keeping and right managing of the heart in every condition is the great business of a Christian’s life.”
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