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By: Larry Shaffer
My son, give attention to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. Do not let them depart from your sight; keep them in the midst of your heart. For they are life to those who find them and health to all their body. Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life, verses 20-23
This proverb is Solomon reciting the instructions given him by his Father, David. I’m drawn to the passage referring to the heart. I read that in the Hebrew language, the term heart goes beyond a reference to the emotions. The heart is the center of thinking and reason, emotions and will. That’s pretty much the total package. The whole inner being.
Solomon is calling us to dance the Texas two-step:
Your heart is at the center of our circulatory system, which is a network of blood vessels that delivers blood to every part of your body. Blood carries oxygen and other important nutrients that all body organs need to be healthy and to work properly. Your heart is a muscle and its job is to pump blood throughout your circulatory system.
The right side of your heart receives oxygen-poor blood from your veins and pumps it to your lungs where it picks up oxygen and gets rid of carbon dioxide. The left side of our heart receives oxygen-rich blood from your lungs and pumps it through your arteries to the rest of your body. (Thank God for the internet. It sure beats the World Book encyclopedia I used in grade school to write reports.)
Your heart is an amazing cleansing system that works with our lungs to cleanse our blood and remove carbon dioxide and send oxygen- rich blood throughout our body.
Solomon says, watch over your heart will all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life.
We often say, “he has a dirty mouth.” The truth is, he has a dirty heart that is not filtering and working well to cleanse the blood that is being sent back to all the parts of the body. In this case, to the mouth. He has a heart-issue not a mouth issue. Our words come out of our heart. Therefore, guard your heart with al diligence.
I like to think of my heart as tough and rugged. But the picture I have from this verse is that my heart is sensitive, vulnerable and impressionable. I should guard my heart the same way I guarded my young daughters (I’m thinking back 20+ years) from danger, threats and harm. I was very diligent back then to hold their hands tightly in crowds or hold them close if any threat was near.
Am I just as hyper-diligent to fill my heart with God’s wisdom and protect my heart from filth and evil?
Verse 4 says, let your heart hold fast my words, keep my commandments and live. It doesn’t say let your mind hold fast or your hands or feet or even your mouth. Let your heart, your whole being, be absorbed in God’s word, His ways, His commandments. We don’t just get up one day and declare a new resolution of acting differently or speaking differently and then it just happens.
Simply resolutions don’t work without changing the heart. This is an issue of the heart! Proverbs tells us that feeding our heart with a steady intake of Godly wisdom, line upon line, precept upon precept, bring true transformation.
Lord, I begin by asking for Your help in the area of my heart. Protect my heart and the heart of my loved ones. I ask that You be a hyper-diligent Father to us and graciously protect our impressionable hearts. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For my part, may I nourish my heart daily in You and Your Word. Help me also to guard my mouth (vs24) and guard my eyes (vs25) for what comes out of my mouth and what I look upon reveals the true state of my heart. Amen!