Pondering the Principles of Proverbs THE GUARD FELL ASLEEP ON DUTY
In Part 1 we learned that your heart determines your life, which basically means that YOU determine your life. I say that, because it is up to you to guard your heart.
If you guard it, you have control.
If you do not guard it, you do not have control over your life, but are at the effect of anything and every thing that comes along.
These are all actions, things that people DO.
Yet, He says they come through thoughts from the heart.
How did they get there?
Most orthodox Christians believe that these things (I'll call them “sin” from here on) are the result of the Fall of man in the Garden of Eden. Sin is in the heart of every human when born. Catholics refer to this as the effect of Original Sin.
Many Christians have an ongoing battle with sin throughout their lives, and believe it is simply a part of their “walk with the Lord.”
However, it would not be as tough as they make it out to be, if they would simply learn to “guard their heart.”
When one is born again—“saved”, if you will—then “old things have passed away, and new things have come.” (2 Cor. 5:17)
Multitudes of Christians have testified to this very fact, saying things like, “When I got saved, the things I was doing I didn't want to do anymore.” But, then, somewhere down the path, they find themselves once again involved in sin. Maybe not the same form of sin as before, but sin nonetheless.
The guard fell asleep on duty.
Jesus told this story: “Now when the unclean spirit goes out of a man, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, and does not find it. Then it says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came’; and when it comes, it finds it unoccupied, swept, and put in order. Then it goes and takes along with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there; and the last state of that man becomes worse than the first. That is the way it will also be with this evil generation.” (Matt. 12:43-45 NAS)
This is a description of the person who does not guard their heart.
The heart that must be guarded is not the fist-sized muscle on the left side of your chest. It is the seat of your being, that which makes you YOU.
If we can refer to the story that Jesus used above, then we must ask, “How does it get back in?” Where, or what, are the gates/doors that allow things in or out?
Notice how Jesus put it when He spoke of what comes out of the heart (according to the NIV): evil thoughts come from the heart, which result in the outward form of sin.
James says much the same: “But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust has conceived, it brings forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, brings forth death.” (James 1:14-15 NAS)
So, what Solomon is talking about when he tells us to guard our heart is that we must control our thoughts.
Control my thoughts? Wow.
That is a big order, and will be dealt with in the next installment.
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