Is Living “The Norm” Leaving You Broke?
It shocked me that the majority of Americans look at debt as “just a part of life.” Not so long ago, being in debt was a shameful thing! Men would do whatever it took to stay out of debt.
Someone I spoke with defined “guarding your heart” as being “on-guard” in relationships. But when you put yourself on “guard duty” to keep others out, you deprive yourself of love! Does THAT sound like God’s will?!
Let’s talk about your heart. Let’s face it, we live in a hostile world and I’ve experienced more than a fair share of hurt in my life. And, odds are, you’ve experienced similar – if not worse – hurt.
When you’ve been hurt by others, it’s easy to build a wall inside and try to guard your heart from experiencing that pain ever again. Even if you haven’t done this, you surely know people who just seem so guarded around others!
The Bible even has something to say, specifically, about this. “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” (Proverbs 4:23)
Recently, I spoke with someone who defined “guarding your heart” as being “on-guard” in relationships, to avoid getting hurt… because you can never tell if someone is trustworthy – or not.
Out of context, it does sounds as if this passage tells you to guard your heart from people. Hmmm…this required a closer look and I found this definition of protecting ourselves is just self-preservation. And the driving force behind THAT? Pride!
“I said, ‘I will guard my ways that I may not sin with my tongue; I will guard my mouth as with a muzzle while the wicked are in my presence.'” (Psalms 39:1). You see, “guarding” is not about saving yourself or protecting yourself from others. It’s about keeping sin out of your heart.
When you put yourself on “guard duty” to keep others out, you deprive yourself of love! And not just feeling love, but sharing it with others, as well. Does THAT sound like God’s will?! His will is to protect your heart from SIN!
A great example illustrates BOTH of these passages: Imagine you’re fighting with your spouse, girlfriend, boyfriend, close friend. Especially in today’s hostile society, people lash-out when they’re angry, right?
Now, you have two options – you can receive their anger-filled cut and lash out in return – too often our “go-to” response. But, reacting this way invites hurt and sin into your heart. On the other hand, you can guard your heart and muzzle your mouth, by simply choosing to not participate in the mud-slinging!
People do and say horrible things when they allow their emotions get the best of them. But that doesn’t have to be you. And you don’t have to receive it!
How do you cope with such a hateful world? Have you boarded yourself up, isolated yourself from others? It’s time to break out and put the walls where they ought to be. Against sin, against the hateful ploys of the enemy. But they should not be pitted against each other!
Let me know who you’ve built your walls against in a comment below. Then share this message within your circle of influence. Be a voice of encouragement, not criticism!
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In great faith,
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