Monday, March 14, 2011

Guard Your Heart

Guard your heart more than anything else, because the source of your life flows from it. Proverbs 4:23 (GWT)

All of us are emotionally wired. Of course that doesn't mean we all react emotionally the same. Some of us are fairly calm and even-keeled. Others, however, wear their feelings on their sleeves and seem to ride a roller coaster, going from emotional heights to depths at the snap of the fingers. Regardless of how you or I are emotionally predisposed, the bottom line is that we're each responsible to have self-control.

God's Word says that guarding my "heart" - the seat of my emotions - is a wise thing to do because my heart, more than anything else will determine the direction and passions of my life. It's why Jesus told us to love God will all our heart. If my love for Him consumes my "heart" then my emotions will be governed by that love. And that can only mean my emotions will resemble Christ's.

Sadly, I have met men and women who equate emotional highs and the warm fuzzies with God. So many are stressed and beaten down by life, poor choices and things that are just out of their control. Surely, they reason, God can help and they begin looking for Him. Maybe they start attending church. After all, isn't that where God shows up? And there's nothing wrong with seeking after God.

But maybe at church a song or a sermon or just the whole experience tugs at their heart strings and while they may be looking for God, what they experienced was mostly or maybe even purely emotional. The truths of the song, sermon, service may have never penetrated their hearts, but they leave with an overwhelming sense of feeling good. And they equate that feeling with God.

The opposite can happen as well. Something happens at church or is said in a sermon that makes them feel bad or angry. Rather than asking, "Is it possible that what has me upset or angry really God working in me to bring about changes", they walk away hurt, concluding that either God or that church isn't for them.

This is why it is so necessary that our "religious experiences" are based on faith and fact, not feelings. Feelings come and go; rise and fall. Feelings not only can be deceptive, they can be destructive to those with the feelings and to those close to them.

God said this about our emotions. The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is? But I, the LORD, search all hearts and examine secret motives. I give all people their due rewards, according to what their actions deserve. - Jeremiah 17:9 (NLT)

So guard your heart. Give God control over what feeds your emotions. Know what your hot buttons are and resolve to not put yourself in places or situations where you know they are going to get pushed. Before you let your emotions get the best of you, calm down and seek the balance that comes with giving your heart's control over to the Holy Spirit. Let your life and how you react be dictated by faith and fact. They don't lie.

And a grounded faith based on sound doctrine won't lead you or I to act in ways we'll later regret.

1 comment:

Rebecca Meyers said...

This is just a wonderful post.