The scriptures tell us in Proverbs 4:23, to guard our hearts for out of it flow the wellsprings of life. In fact, in the Message translation of the Bible the words are, “Keep vigilant watch over your heart; that’s where life starts!”
What do you allow yourself to listen to? What words do you permit into your heart? According to the Bible, words have the power to pierce like an arrow, cut like a sword, and trickle down into our inmost parts. They have access to our insides where they can latch onto our character, so we must learn to keep the gateways to our hearts closed to unwelcome traffic.
Our Pastor preached on the many gates that led to Jerusalem in ancient times. Each gate was constructed and governed to allow strategic access to the interior of the holy city. Likewise there are gateways to our human interiors. Whether the spoken words bring healing or harm, they have equal access if we do not vigilantly guard our gates.
When Nehemiah rebuilt the walls around Jerusalem, he set guards at each gate. It was the responsibility of the guards to monitor welcome and unwelcome traffic, to and from the city, and to open and close the gates accordingly. Gates offer protection.
There are many things in life that we cannot control. However, where we go and what we listen to are not among them. God thoughtfully designed the human body for portability, which gives us the ability to step away from unhealthy influences.
In my case I’ve learned that I am easily affected by movies, so I rarely watch them. When people say, “I was sitting at the edge of my seat”, or, “I cried through the whole thing”, it is a compliment to the effectiveness of the film. But for me, a movie can be a wild ride of emotions, exchanges, and impressions that leave me feeling undone, and sometimes haunted.
So, protect your heart by setting high standards concerning what crosses your personal gateways. As the Proverb says, “this is where life starts”. Guard yours.
Nehemiah 7:2-4 NLT I said to them, “Do not leave the gates open during the hottest part of the day. And even while the gatekeepers are on duty, have them shut and bar the doors. Appoint the residents of Jerusalem to act as guards, everyone on a regular watch. Some will serve at sentry posts and some in front of their own homes.”
Orig Posted by Donna M Dougherty at 2/8/2009 11:40 PM