I'm watching the Super Bowl alone. I think that what you do on Super Bowl Sunday is a great indication of how popular you are. I'm not pouting, because I did get papers graded and some to-do's marked off the list. I'm only saying that I may or may not be a nerd. I haven't been too terribly impressed with commercials. The GoDaddy.com commercial and the Bud Light house commercial made me sad for the world. What some people think is cool is so not cool. And as you can tell by my social life, I'm obviously a pretty good judge of cool.
Ok, as promised, I'm gonna see if I can wrap my head around what Proverbs 4:23 has made me consider. I don't really know where to begin or where this will end. So, here comes word vomit.
Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.
I read this verse multiple times recently. Then I kinda just stared at it. It has always seemed so simple, and it's something I tell all girls that deal with boys being turds to them. "Guard your heart, friend. Guard your heart." I've even reminded myself to do the same on multiple occasions. I know it as Truth, but I don't know if I truly ever knew what that looked like. Not only that, but I don't think I ever considered why this was in the Bible. Why did God say to guard my heart? From what? From who? The wellspring of life? What the deuce is a wellspring? I've always just taken this to mean something along the lines of keeping my heart to myself. Not necessarily as a cold, bitter loner, but more along the lines of being careful. It's always given me a sense of caution in that I shouldn't give my heart to anyone or anything that doesn't glorify God or that brings me pain in any way. Well ok, that makes sense. Thanks, I'll do my best, God.
But...He took it to another level when I stared at it like a weirdo. Particularly, the "Above all else..." part. I started to think..."Holy crap. Above all else? I'm supposed to guard my heart above all else?" I don't know about you guys...but "above all else" seems pretty up there. I mean, if Jesus is the Highest and number 1 on my list of priorities, "above all else" only has one other place to land. Right under the way I love Christ, I am supposed to be guarding my heart? My heart is really that important to Him? When I asked these questions, I was first of all humbled. Man, I am adored...and in a big way. I am adored by the God and Creator of everything. I'm kinda awesome. Eh, maybe that isn't humble. But we're allowed to boast in Christ. So boom.
Anyway, when I realized this, a lot of other aspects of this verse made sense. It also changed my life a little when I suddenly thought:
My heart is important to God, and I am supposed to guard it because He DWELLS there!
Crazy, right? God says to guard our heart above all else because the "above all else" is chilling in there. With Jesus, the heart IS the wellspring of life. (The definition of wellspring, by the way, is "an original and bountiful source of something." I looked it up. :) ) Because He is in my heart, I have life. I have a life on earth and a life to come. I have to guard my heart from anything that would compromise this.
So what does it look like? I'm still not sure I know. I only know that the Spirit guides me with peace. When there isn't peace there, there probably isn't much Jesus there either. I can only use my best judgment and discern what I feel God is telling me to do. I feel like there are some questions I need to start asking myself when approached with any situation in order to make sure I'm keeping my heart protected. These include, but are not limited to, the following:
1. Is this what God wants for me? Because He is so concerned with my heart, I know that the Lord has a plan for my life and wants me to experience all the joy that is possible. Even in the junk, He wants me to rejoice. So, if this isn't what I want it to be, or I'm not being treated the way I want to be treated, wouldn't letting go be glorifying Him more? It's easy to get consumed in the worry, pain, anxiety, and uncertainty of a situation. If I'm trusting Him with it, I'm showing the ultimate faith, and I'm protecting my heart from these icky little things.
2. Is this worth the pain that could come with it? Sometimes, I think we keep pressing on through something in faith that it will just dissolve and work itself out. Sure, it will when God is involved, but why stay in the midst of it? And sometimes, I DO think that's what God wants. He wants us to go through this and cling to Him. But, if God provides an alternative, we should probably take it and not stay trapped. To guard my heart, I have to choose my battles.
3. Am I still putting God first? Sometimes, we don't have the dirty stuff. Sometimes, life is peachy keen and relationships are the bomb. Even in the awesome, am I singing praise? Protecting our heart also means keeping ourselves from neglecting God when we don't have something bugging us. We can enjoy our blessings...but not above all else.
So...ok. At the end of the mumbo jumbo, I guess my point is this:
God says that we are to guard our hearts ABOVE ALL ELSE. That's a big freakin' deal. Care about yourself. Know that you are important, and your heart is valuable. You are cherished. Know that God wants the best for you, and if something is constantly making you feel like crap, it probably isn't. It is your responsibility to guard your heart. It may look different for every person, but it's vital nonetheless. Don't give your heart away too easily. To be safe, just go ahead and give Him control of it. If I give to God all of what is His anyway, I'd say my heart is in good hands.
umm..The End? haha :)