Skip to main content

Proverbs 4 March 2014 by Doug

The heart. It is the seat of the emotions, the guide of the will, and desperately tends to go off course. Solomon knew this. One might argue that Solomon had experienced this—if he writes the Proverbs at the end of his life, you have a strong argument that he had seen how his heart had drifted.



Whatever the immediate cause, we see the result in Proverbs 4:23. Guard your heart. Above anything else, be discerning and careful with your heart. Do not easily let anyone into your heart, do not readily allow another to guide your heart.


Why?


Because from the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks and the body acts. What is inside of us is what comes out into our life, into our action.


If we are going to have lives that reflect the glory of God, then our hearts must be focused on His glory, His ways. If not, we are in trouble. There are two ways our hearts get us into trouble.


The first is their natural tendency to drift. Easily, too easily, we turn to golden calves and lesser desires. We choose the quicker paths and the more fleshly fulfillments. This is why so much about the sins that have entangled us is a life of ease. We will trade a big pleasure later for a small pleasure and a big pain later. That is the state of the heart left alone.


Think about it: why are drugs a problem? Sex? Any other form of moral or ethical lapse? We would rather shoot up or sex up or corrupt our way to what we want than work for it. After all, a body that feels good is good enough, why work for a body in good shape? A quick night that meets the urges is easier than a lifelong commitment, so why marry? And if I can take what I want instead of earning it, then I’ll have it—you probably have enough, anyway.


Our hearts drift this way, and that is the bigger danger here. We must guard our hearts from drift by constantly being renewing our minds in Christ. By constantly pouring in the Word of God—because we leak. (It is worth noting that between Hebrew culture and Greco-Roman culture, the heart/mind/soul/emotion/thought distinction is not as solid as it is in modern America, nor as localized. Mind and heart are not as separate as we make them.)


Our hearts can also be drawn astray by others. I know this danger, and have succumbed to it. Yet this is not the greatest danger we see—readily there are those to warn us and guard us. It from within that danger rises up.


Defeat it—or 300 porcupines will seem like an easy problem.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Book Review: The Heart Mender by @andyandrews (Andy Andrews)

The Heart Mender: A Story of Second ChancesEver read a book that you just kind of wish is true?  That's my take on The Heart Mender by Andy Andrews.  It's a charming story of love and forgiveness, and it's woven into the historical setting of World War II America.  For the narrative alone, the book is worth the read, but the message it contains is well worth absorbing as well.However, let's drop back a minute.  This book was originally published under the title Island of Saints.  I read Island of Saints and enjoyed it greatly.  Now, Andrews has released it under a new title, with a few minor changes.  All of this is explained in the Author's Note at the beginning, but should be noted for purchaser's sake.  If you read Island of Saints, you're rereading when you read The Heart Mender.  Now, go ahead and reread it.  It will not hurt you one bit.Overall, the story is well-paced.  There are points where I'd like more detail, both in the history and the geog…

Abraham Lincoln Quoted by Jesus! Mark 3

Mark records a curious event in his third chapter (link). If you look at Mark 3:25, you'll see that Jesus quotes the sixteenth President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln. After all, one of the highlights of the Lincoln years is his famous speech regarding slavery in the United States where he used the phrase that "a house divided against itself cannot stand." This speech was given in 1858 when he accepted the nomination to run against Stephen A. Douglas for Senate, but is still remembered as the defining speech regarding slaveholding in the United States. I recall being taught in school how brilliant and groundbreaking the speech was, how Lincoln had used such wise words to convey his thought. Yet the idea was not original to Lincoln. Rather, it was embedded in Lincoln from his time reading the Bible. Now, I have read varying reports about Lincoln's personal religious beliefs: some place him as a nearly completely committed Christian while others have him somewh…

Book: Vindicating the Vixens

Well, if Vindicating the Vixens doesn’t catch your attention as a book title, I’m not sure what would. This volume, edited by Sandra L. Glahn (PhD), provides a look at some of the women of the Bible who are “Sexualized, Vilified, and Marginalized.” As is frequently the case, I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for my review.Let’s take this a stage at a time. First stage: book setup. This is primarily an academic Biblical Studies book. Be prepared to see discussions of Greek and Hebrew words, as appropriate. You’ll also need a handle on the general flow of Biblical narrative, a willingness to look around at history, and the other tools of someone who is truly studying the text. This is no one-day read. It’s a serious study of women in the Bible, specifically those who either faced sexual violence or who have been considered sexually ‘wrong’ across years of study.A quick note: this book is timely, not opportunistic. The length of time to plan, assign, develop, and publish a multi…