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Today’s Truth

Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life, (Proverbs 4:23, NLT).

Friend to Friend

A friend asked me the other day, “How’s your heart?” It really struck a chord with me because most of the time people just ask, “How are you doing?” And we tend to tell them what they want to hear. But this friend went deeper into what really matters in life—the heart.

Sometimes we can feel like life is too busy to get real. Pain is often too deep to let even a bit of it creep out. Maybe living on-the-surface with each other feels more bearable . . . even more socially acceptable. But the problem with on-the-surface living is that we’re ignoring what God wants us to give serious attention to – the state of our hearts – which influences everything in our lives.

Proverbs 4:23 (NLT) states “Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.” We may believe this means we’re supposed to protect ourselves from anything that might hurt us, thus being vulnerable, revealing our weakness, making a request for connection, or even admitting our sin to one another should be off-limits.

But that kind of guarding is really mask-wearing, and it continues to keep us isolated and struggling alone. I get, though. It’s hard to trust another human being to kindly handle our imperfections. I’ve been hurt on more than one occasion by a sister who saw me one way and then couldn’t handle the reality of my mess. In the aftermath, I’ve been tempted to hide away and resist connecting with anyone for fear of getting hurt again and feeling like a disappointment. Can you relate?

But here’s the deal, sister. We need to use discernment in choosing with whom we share our hearts. There are people we need to “keep out” as part of healthy heart-guarding.

The “heart,” in a biblical context, refers to the “seat of appetites, emotions, passions, courage; heart of moral character; inclinations, resolutions, determination; mind, knowledge, thinking, reflection, memory”. To guard our hearts, we have to be aware of our longings, desires, dreams, wants, temptations, influences, and motives. And we need to do this guarding “above all else,” which is translated from the Hebrew word “kol” and means “all, the whole of, each, every, anything, totality, everything.”

As they say, “what goes in must come out,” so when it comes to our heart, we have to become more aware of everything that goes in by examining everything that comes out. We have to look at the connection between the influence on our lives and our actions. And whether we’d like to admit, we need others to help us in this process. We’re not on a solo mission, sister. God designed us for connection with Him and each other (Romans 15:1, 1 Corinthians 12, James 5:16). So, when we guard against everyone, we’re guarding the wrong thing.

I’m so thankful for the friend that asked me, “How’s your heart?” So, I’m going to ask you, today “How’s your heart?”

Let’s Pray

Dear Lord, thank You that You care about what’s going on inside my heart because You know it shapes my outer life. Forgive me for the times I forsake guarding what goes into my heart. Help me to be real with myself, You, and others. Help me find the courage to make the necessary changes in my life as I guard what You have given me to steward – my heart, Your dwelling place.

In Jesus’ Name,

Amen.

Now It’s Your Turn

What is one way that you can guard your heart? Click comment and let’s chat.

Who can you reach out to and ask, “How’s your heart?” Maybe you can even share this with a friend and be bold enough to say, “I give you permission to ask me how my heart is doing too.”

More from the Girlfriends

Want to learn more about how to align your heart with His? Take my Align Quiz over at my website, More to Be.

© 2020 by Elisa Pulliam. All rights reserved.

9 Responses to “How’s Your Heart?”

  1. carol says:

    Elisa,
    Thank you so much for this posting. Our hearts are hurting in this season of 2020.
    Had a friend call yesterday, she just went to her heart Dr., and she’s also feeling the pain of our worldly woes.
    Being in isolation, this year, has brought to mind 2 Corin. 4:8, “we are pressed..
    but not crushed or broken….we don’t give up and quit”. Paul knew what human physical and spiritual depression does to a person. That verse has been my own personal promise from God, that we are the lanterns of Jesus’ light within us.
    Thank you, for reminding us to ask for the Lord to guard our hearts and give us strength.

  2. DeeDee says:

    Don’t believe the enemy’s lies, such as thinking my previous romantic , committed relationship was a ‘joke’ or not worthy, just because it doesn’t exist today. I shall remember the special time, love shared and personal/spiritual growth gained from that season. In return, I will share His light with gratitude, rather than hold onto and/or exude the ‘breakup’ brokeness and bitterness.

  3. Linda says:

    I have a sister who tells me I should transparent in all things. I disagree. Yet when I shared with her I didn’t feel like it was kept between us. I can’t seem to let things just flow off me anymore. I speak when I’m irritated so unlike when I was younger so then she says I’m bipolar. Lol. Tells me I should go to a church like hers. I’ve actually heard her tell someone their church isn’t very good. Yet she comes across as being better yet says she isn’t. So now I don’t share as much as I used too. She doesn’t understand why I pulled away.I have done this with others as well. I don’t feel like I’m in the wrong. How do I leave things at the cross and let go when others seem to think it’s ok to keep throwing it back.

  4. Carol, thanks for sharing your heart with us and so beautifully reminding us of Paul’s words. That passage is really powerful, especially at a time like this. May His light continue to shine in us and through us!

  5. DeeDee, I love how you illustrate the transformation from what we feel to believing what is true. It’s not an easy process, but one worth investing in. May God continue to strengthen you and equip you with His promises!

  6. Jodi says:

    I have no one to ask me how my heart is. My heart is hurting so badly. I’m stuck with feelings of loneliness and self pity. I don’t feel myself or even know who that person is. I cry when I think of this and it reminds me even more how I have no one.

  7. Jennifer says:

    Jodi,

    You are not alone. I hope you know how much Jesus loves you. I pray you will have someone to talk to. And if you will share your email in another comment, I’d be happy to write and find out how your heart really is.

    (i’m not sure if this is allowed on the girlfriends in god site or not)

    Jennifer

  8. Dollie says:

    How is my heart??
    I always take care of my heart by walking everyday (physically). During this pandemic, i make it a point to go and walk everyday, then this is where i speak to God alone as well. They might think i am crazy talking ..by myself but they just don’t know that I am speaking to most important person in my life, my best friend who is powerful and full of authority.(spritual) Of course i am sad without a job for almost a year but I am not giving up.Jesus knows what is best for me. like the other day devotion, hurdles doesn’t stop me. I wake up everyday thanking Jesus. Jesus is filling my heart with his protection, love, and mercy. His name is above all other name. even.. this pandemic and unemployment. That is my heart situation today.

  9. Jodi, I agree with what Jennifer shared. I am so sorry you feel so alone. It sounds like you’re in a place in which you need a friend to stand with you. Please know that I am interceding for you right now and asking God to provide that in-real-life friend. I also hear in your words something that is quite normal and common when life’s hardships and experiences leave us wounded. One of the best things to do in that situation is to reach out to a counselor for support. Many times, I’ve been overwhelmed with sadness and struggling in my faith, and it has been through the support of a therapist, that I’ve been able to hear from God more clearly and find my way forward.

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