The TRUE Life Changing Magic Tidying Up: The Believers Responsibility of Keeping Our Hearts
The book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing took the United States by storm with step by step instructions to decluttering and organizing our homes. After reading the book, in the following months, I cleared dozens of garbage bags out of our home and garage. The freedom and encouragement to get rid of things that pile up all around us and stuff our drawers is so cleansing and rewarding. During the process of purging it was amazing and surprising to see all of the unnecessary things that had accumulated without even realizing it. When the bags are out, the shelves wiped and the floors swept, the room feels open, airy and lighter it is truly a rewarding task.
While, I will go into details about keeping the home in a future series, as believers I do believe that we have a responsibility to keep our hearts clean and free of clutter. Proverbs 4:23 tells us that one way to be wise and grow in understanding is to ” Guard your heart above all else, for it is the source of life.” This verse has a lot to say about the heart and the condition it should be in. Here are 3 reasons why we should look after our hearts. In the coming articles we will see what the bible has to say about how we can be keeping our hearts in a way that pleases God, produces fruit, and promotes worship. Stay tuned, it should be an encouraging series as we look at why our hearts are important.
Precious “Guard your heart” shows us that our hearts are valuable and important. Just like precious jewels, our hearts need to be protected. We need to guard WHO has access to our hearts and HOW our hearts are treated. Guarding also shows us that someone wants it. We don’t guard dirty socks or bags of garbage. Since the Garden of Eden, there has been a battle for our hearts and minds.If we don’t actively guard our heart, someone else will and he is actively looking for people to devour. Satan’s goal is to prevent you from worshipping God.When we are reconciled with God the Father, through the saving work of Jesus Christ’s death on the Cross we are given the Holy Spirit and given a new heart. Our sinful heart of stone are replaced with a heart of flesh and we are raised to a new life. What a privilege it is to be given a heart that is precious, soft and new. Precious things are kept under lock and key, kept clean, put on display, talked about, and treasured. Of all that we have and all that we are, the Psalmist says that our hearts should be guarded.
Priority “Above all else” implies that it should be primary and first in line. Guarding our hearts should be the first and most important thing that we care for. We see here that it should be the first thing that we consider and work to protect. Since it is the source of our life, we are encouraged to be sure that we watch over it first. Above all else, a specific instruction for how and when our hearts should be guarded. Just like when I write a grocery list and highlight the ice cream or talk about Thanksgiving dinner and pause when apple pie is mentioned, guarding our hearts are to be of utmost priority and done before anything else is pursued or considered.
Productive “It is the source of life” reveals that our hearts do something. It produces life! Our thoughts, words, ideas, affections and actions are all originated from our heart. Having a heart that is productive is a major component of life, guarding what our life giving heart reminds us that what comes out of our heart is critical and we need to be watchful about what it produces because it is a reflection of our life, thoughts and affections. An apple tree can only produce apples and what our heart produces reveals what our heart is made of.
When reading this verse, I am often reminded of the picture of a fresh water spring. Where there is fresh water there is life and growth, just like fresh water is imperative for life, our hearts are imperative for spiritual life. Seeing the joy and relief of people receiving fresh water from a well for the first time, pales in comparison to the joy and relief that comes from a cleansed and new heart that is kept above all else. How do you keep your heart? What are you hoping to see in the coming series about keeping your heart? Have you read a book or verses about keeping your heart? I would love to hear how you have grown and been challenged to keep your heart. Have you ever considered this before?
Here are a few verses to meditate on:
“But the LORD said to Samuel, ‘Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.’ ” 1 Samuel 16:7
“The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.” Luke 6:45
“For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:18