Guard your Heart
(Part #1 The Importance of Your Thoughts)
by Ron Susek
©Golden Quill Publication
Keep [guard] your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.
Proverbs 4:23 ESV
When in college I scored high in psychology. Upon returning home I sat down with my dad to explain how he was responsible for every difficulty in my life; after all, I had been taught this is the thing to do. He listened quietly to every word. When I exhausted my accusations he spoke wisdom in one sentence that transformed my life. He said, "Well, all I can say is that a real man doesn't blame his problems on someone else."
Now, it was my turn to listen quietly. He was absolutely correct. We all find deceitful ways to justify ourselves by blaming someone or something else: from birth defects to parental flaws; from sibling rivalries to corrupt people; from educational failures to social disadvantage. You name it and we will use it to excuse ourselves.
God designed the heart to grow whatever thoughts you plant in it. You must take charge of your thoughts. If you want to be a man or woman of God, then plant the seeds of the Word of God.
Thus, the Bible tells us to guard our hearts; i.e., watch what we plant.1 The Bible strongly tells us to take every thought captive, making them obedient to Christ.2
You alone will be held responsible for the planting and production of your heart. When bad things happen to you . . . and they will . . . you alone will determine what thoughts you plant, and that makes you responsible for the outcome.
The same is true of the good things that inevitably come into your life. You alone will either plant thoughts of pride or humility: Pride thinks: This happened because I deserve it. Humility thinks: This happened by God's grace.
Whatever thoughts you plant will grow and eventually flow from your mouth. And that will reveal what you have been planting. Wrong thoughts form prisons while right thoughts liberate.
Bottom line; while people and events may affect you, do not permit them to define you. You alone are the appointed gardener of your heart.
It has been said, You are what you eat. Jesus disagreed by saying, "But the things that proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and those defile the man."3
Conversely, Jesus said, "For the mouth speaks that which fills the heart. The good man out of the good treasure brings forth what is good . . . ."4
So, here are the four basic steps that determine what becomes of your life: One, you and you alone determine the thoughts that you plant into your heart. Two, your heart will grow whatever you plant. Three, your mouth will speak what your heart has grown. Four, like fruit, your actions will reveal what is rooted in your heart; be it good or bad.
Be a good gardener. Plant wisely and reap an honorable harvest.
Immanuel: God is with you!
1Proverbs 4:23 ESV
22 Corinthians 10:5 ESV
3Matthew 15:18 ESV
4Matthew 12:34-35 ESV
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