On one of the final days of chapel of my first semester of college, the college president’s wife spoke. She brought up a Scripture that I hadn’t thought about in a while:
“Above all else, guard your heart, for from it flow the wellsprings of life.” – Proverbs 4:23
She made the interesting point that we need to be diligent in guarding our hearts in every area of our lives, both the weak places and the strong places. I suppose I had never truly considered that I needed to guard the strong areas of my life. The truth is, though, that pride should never stop us from keeping vigil in our lives. My current environment has been a relatively safe place for God to teach me lessons from little things, which is far preferable to learning from bad experiences later.
I have never really been around or lived with any females in close quarters (other than my mom), so living in the girls’ dorm here at Trinity Bible College has been interesting. Everyone is at a different stage of spiritual and personal growth, which I think is a beautiful thing, but if I am not careful, there are some dangerous traps I could fall into.
One of these “traps” is how I view myself. It is, I think, more common for females to dislike themselves than for guys to dislike themselves; we are simply more prone to being weak in that area. I, however, was always taught to love who God had created me to be and make the best choices I could for my body without worrying. I have never disliked myself. I live with a lot of other girls now though, and not all of them are comfortable or happy with themselves. My sensitivity to moods and feelings was causing me to pick up on some negative self-image vibes. Just a few days ago I caught my train of thought, and I was horrified. It was as though I didn’t like myself! I immediately declared those thoughts to be outrageous lies and repented for allowing them entrance into my life. The lie was so cunning, so subtle that I didn’t recognize it for what it was: a lie. It crept in so gradually that I didn’t even notice it at first. As I mentioned in my “True Living” blog post, the problem with lies is that they simply aren’t true, and any area in which we are not living in complete Truth we are actually living in bondage. (You can check it out here: https://hisdesertrose.com/2013/07/29/true-living/) The most difficult thing to fathom about this lie was that it came in an area I had left unguarded because of my supposed strength!
You see, that is what Satan does. It is true that he pressures us in our areas of weakness, but he also does a far more subtle work in our areas of strength. First he feeds our pride. Then he lulls us into complacency. We become lax in guarding that “place of strength” and suddenly it has the potential for great weakness. The realization that I had left myself vulnerable to the cares and the lies of the world was humbling. As Christians it is our duty to guard every place of our hearts because it is from our hearts that the life and love of Christ flows. When we fail to guard our hearts, poison begins to seep in and taint what is flowing out of us. Guarding our hearts is necessary for our personal health, but it is also a vital part of our testimony as Christ-followers.
I desire to be a faithful guardian of my heart so that I am able to guard the hearts of those who can’t guard themselves. Now, I can’t make choices for other people, so I can never guard someone else’s heart completely, but out of love and compassion I can step in to shore up their defenses. I am not able to control the hearts of others, but I can offer my strength, adding it to theirs. God does this for each one of His children daily, and I want to be a warrior-daughter after his own heart, protecting and bringing hope to the weary and broken.
My prayer: Help me to guard my heart well, Lord, and not be lulled into complacency. Strengthen me; help me to keep a diligent vigil over every area of my heart, the strong places as well as the weak ones. By becoming a faithful guardian of my own heart I will allow life to flow out of me into this broken world. Equip and enable me to be a faithful and loving guardian of the hearts of others. May I be a safe place, a haven in which the hearts of others can rest in Your peace and be refreshed by Your Love-Light, for You are the Prince of Peace and the ultimate Guardian of hearts.