Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. Keep your mouth free of perversity; keep corrupt talk far from your lips.
Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you. Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways.
Do not turn to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil. Proverbs 4:23-27 (NIV)
Our hearts are the wellsprings of life; that is why you need to learn how to guard your heart.
See, everything you do flows from your heart.
Proverbs 27:19 tells us that the way water reflects the face that is how our lives reflect our hearts. It means that our actions, attitudes, and words are a true reflection of our hearts.
What is the Heart?
According to the Bible, the heart is composed of your will, emotions, mind, and conscience. Your heart is who you are. It is the source of your words, attitudes, and actions.
To know how to protect your heart, you need to be aware of what is happening in your heart.
See, your heart is like the dashboard of your car—the lights on the dashboard signal that something needs to be checked.
While the meters communicate crucial things, you need to know while you’re on the road.
To know what is happening in your heart, you need to keep watch of your feelings, words, and attitudes. You should always notice when you’re peaceful or joyful and when you are not.
Benefits of Guarding your Heart.
All of us deal with worry and fear at times, but we should not ignore how we feel just because it is part of human nature. A lack of joy or peace is a sign that you have a faith problem.
It shows that you are not trusting in the word of God, and that is sinful unbelief.
Guarding your heart will help you to know if your words, attitudes, and actions are right or wrong.
It will help you to measure your feelings against the word of God so that you can know whether your hope is on the promises of God or not.
Now, if you find out that you’re not trusting God, you will take the necessary steps to change your heart. How will you do that? You will put your hope in God like the Psalmist in Psalm 42:5.
He knew that his heart was downcast and changed it by putting his hope in God.
But let’s face it:
Protecting your heart is not as easy as it sounds. It is also not something that you can do within a day or week. Guarding your heart should be done continuously.
To help you with the process here are thirteen proven ways on how to protect your heart:
1. Protect your Ear and Eye Gate.
See, your ears and eyes are gates to your soul. What enters your soul will affect you positively or negatively.
God gave us eyes so that we can use them to take in the beauty of his creation and behold his Son Jesus through reading the word.
He also gave us ears so that we can listen to his word and be transformed into the image of his Son Jesus. (Proverbs 4:20-22)
Now some things may be entertaining, but they are poisonous to your heart. See, that thing may not affect you right now, but with time your mind will become contaminated.
You will start acting out what you watch or hear.
Watch and listen to content that brings glory to God.
2. Follow God’s Leading.
Everything seemed great! Your friends and family gave you the support that you needed and were happy for you. Things seemed to be working in your favor.
There was just one problem. You did not have the peace that surpasses all understanding. The still small voice kept nudging you not to do it.
But you went ahead and took that step and regretted almost immediately.
Does this sound familiar? Or do you know someone who had such an experience?
Not everything that looks great in this life is from God. Do not just follow your heart when you’re about to make a big decision in your life. Our hearts are deceitful.
Go to God first for guidance. He will show you the right way to go. Not just that he will also show you the traps that the enemy has put before you and how to guard your heart against them.
3. Surround yourself with the Right People.
Friends can make or break you. Negative friends will influence you negatively while positive people will help you to have a positive outlook in life. Who are you allowing to influence you?
Now, there are people in our lives that we cannot avoid like our parents, spouses, and siblings. Creating healthy boundaries with them is crucial, especially if they do not share your faith.
Pray for the spirit of discernment so that you can be able to know the right friends from the wrong ones.
4. Guard your heart through Prayer.
Not only did Hannah have to deal with the fact she was barren she had to put up with Peninah who teased her year in year out. All Hannah could do is cry.
But a time came when Hannah turned to God.
She poured her heart to God so much so that Eli, the priest thought that she was drunk. After praying, Hannah ate, and her face was not sad anymore.
Later on, God granted Hannah the answer to her prayer. (1Samuel 1:2-20)
Through prayer, we can guard our hearts by pouring out the things that are troubling us to God, and allowing him to take control.
It may be difficult for you to pray when you have a troubled heart, but that is the best thing to do.
5. Watch your Words.
Have you ever said something and then regretted it? Ever found yourself replaying a conversation you had with someone when you were mad and just cringed at the words that came out of your mouth?
Most of us have if we are to be completely honest.
The Bible tells us to be careful about what we say. We should not let unwholesome talk come out of our mouths.
Why? It is not what enters the mouth that defiles us, but what comes from your mouth. But how are our mouths connected to our hearts? It is out of the abundance of our hearts that our mouths speak.
In essence, our mouths say what is in our hearts. (Matthew 15:11)
When we allow unwholesome talk to come out of our mouths, we give the devil ground to condemn us. Let the words that come out of your heart be words that edify and build others up.
6. Focus on what is Ahead.
It is very difficult for one to get sidetracked when they’re focusing on what lies ahead. Even if the enemy comes like a flood to confuse you, you will not fall for his schemes because your focus will be on what is ahead.
Now, this does not mean that you will not make any mistakes. You are human, and that means you’re going to miss some steps along the way.
But when you focus on the path God has laid, you will get up when you fall and continue to do what God wants you to do. (Proverbs 4:25)
7. Give thought to what you do.
At times we do things without thinking, and they end up messing our lives and hearts.
A wounded heart is fearful, doubtful, and anxious is capable of making many mistakes that is why you need to know how to guard your heart and not just that you need to put those steps into practice.
Yes, we learn from our mistakes, but at times the mistakes we make end up troubling our hearts and affecting us the rest of our lives.
So always give thought to what you’re about to do and if it doesn’t feel right, don’t do it.
8. Guard your heart with the word of God.
You cannot follow that which you do not know, and that is why you need the word of God. It will help you understand who your heavenly Father is and why he loves you so much.
The word of God will show you wrong from right.
It will rebuke you when you’re wrong and show you how to continue walking on the right path.
When you are discouraged the word of God will encourage you, and it will bring healing to your heart when you’re broken. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
The word of God is the guide that will show you how to protect your heart from the schemes of the enemy.
Related Article: Encouraging Bible Verses: 75 Life-Changing.
9. Discipline your thinking.
Believers must discipline their thinking. Your thoughts affect your actions and words.
Learn to measure what you think against the word of God and do not entertain every thought that comes to your mind.
Now the devil is very cunning. He will attack your mind always with negative thoughts. But you can take charge of your thoughts by focusing on what God says about you.
Make it a habit to think about things that are true, lovely, praiseworthy, noble and excellent.
10. Know your Value.
People and situations will bring you down. You will meet people that will make you feel worthless, and this will leave you heartbroken. But remember your real value is in Christ.
Knowing your value will help you to live a happy and peaceful life. Instead of being pushed back and forth by the issues of life, you will live life knowing that you are a valuable person.
You will also have the peace that surpasses all understanding when all odds are against you.
11. Protect your Environment.
Here’s the thing, Jesus did not ask God to remove us from this world, but he asked him to protect us while we are here.
So there is no way you can get rid of sinful people from your neighborhood, workplace or social places.
However, you can protect your environment by choosing to be in the right place at the right time doing the right thing.
Instead of hanging out in places where you will be tempted to sin against God, for example, a bar or being around gossipers, choose to be around God-fearing people.
Be around people who will build you up and help you to become the person God wants you to be. (Galatians 5:9)
12. Set your Mind on Things above.
The pressures of life can be overwhelming, yet we need to rise above them every single day. The best way to do that is by setting our minds on things above.
Setting your mind on heavenly things will help you know how to protect your heart against fear, sinful thoughts, and immorality.
So, instead of focusing on temporary worldly things, shift your thoughts to things above.
Do not see life the way unbelievers do; choose to see everything, good or bad from God’s perspective. Above all else always seek after what God desires and not the evil desires in your heart.
13. Guard your heart by Resting in Jesus.
Look, you do not have to live with a troubled heart anymore. Jesus has already paid for it all at the Cross.
All that has happened in your past and is happening now has already been paid at the Cross. But you need to cast all your burdens to God and allow Him to transform your life so that you can be Christ-like.
Guarding your heart starts when you rest in the finished work of Jesus.
Instead of being anxious about life and the things you have no control over, choose to rest in Jesus. Jesus knows what is best for you, rest in him instead of trying to do things all by yourself, and he will lead you in the right direction.
Guarding your heart is very important because the issues of life come from it; that is why you must learn how to guard your heart.
If your heart is not right, then you will not make the right decisions. You will also become prone to the lies of the enemy and end up doing things that are against the will of God.
Always guard your heart by protecting your eyes and ears gates, following God’s leading, through prayer and watching your words.
Remember to know your real value, focus on what is ahead, think before you take any steps, and to trust God with all your heart.
Most of all, guard your heart by resting in the finished work of Jesus.