Wisdom from Proverbs #2

“Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life.”  Proverbs 4:23 NASB

The only time I ever heard this explained was in relation to dating.  But there are so many more applications!

Does the heart only feel love romantically?  Do we not have other types of love, such as familial and friendship types of love?

I believe this verse is talking about the heart as the seat of emotions.

So, I believe it means that we are to watch diligently over our heart in relation to anyone who might dump on us words that will bring sickness or deathlike symptoms to our emotions.

We are supposed to do all in our power not to let anyone muddy the springs of our heart.

I think that in a lot of Christian circles this verse is not well known or understood.

When someone complains of another person speaking discouraging or abusive words to us, the first reaction is often to say, “Oh, you know, we just have to love them and forgive them.”  I’m sure I’ve been guilty of this as well because that is the way I was raised.

And it’s true that we are to love and forgive.

But if we are guarding our heart diligently, we will not let people who are known toxic waste dumpers get close enough to fling their word bombs.

You can love someone from a distance by praying for them, smiling in their direction from across the room but continuing on your way, talking about them in a respectful way, sending them a gift in the mail.

But really, is it love to allow them to continue in their sin of verbal abuse toward you?

Are they truly happy, healthy human beings?  Or is it perhaps more loving to pray for them to realize their sin and be changed from the inside out by God Himself?

We can’t change those other people.  We can pray for them to repent and ask
God to change them.  They are His job, not ours.  We can also pray that God will send someone else who will not be a subject on whom they will be inclined to dump.

“Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life.”  Proverbs 4:23 NASB

How are we going to be able to impart life-giving words to others if we are heartsick ourselves, wallowing in the toxic waste that we are continuing to allow someone to dump into our heart?

God wants us to walk in life and to be able to impart life to others.  But we may need to ask Him to clean out the death-giving words of others and pour the clean water of His Life-giving and powerful words in to replace them.  Then we need to give due diligence to not allowing those people the negative power that we used to allow them to have over us.

Lord,  We know that You love us intimately, and You want to give us life and clean hearts that are healthy and able to impart life to others.  Please clean out the toxic waste of the words and hateful actions that others have dumped on us in the past.  We surrender it all to You and give You permission to clean every corner of our hearts.  Please fill our hearts with Your love and light instead.  In Jesus’ name, Amen!

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10 thoughts on “Wisdom from Proverbs #2

  1. I like this perspective, I think this is an application many may not realize. I am reminded of the scripture that speaks about it not being what a man eats that defiles him, but what comes out from his mouth because that comes from his heart. And what goes in eventually may come out. This, I think, could apply also to tv, movies, books, etc. that may be filling our hearts with sinful thoughts and ideas! We truly do need to protect our hearts! ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, that’s so true, Savannah! I don’t know about other people, but because of the way I was raised, it didn’t occur to me for a long time that it was just as bad for me to hear discouraging words from people I know as it is to hear them from media sources. I think that was because of what I mentioned in the article that I was fooled into thinking that I had to subject myself to that negativity out of some false idea of what love is for those people. But what happens, like you mentioned, is that those negative things that we have taken in, then have a way of coming out of our mouths somewhere down the road. We need to tell our hearts the truth and banish the lies. Amen!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I had never actually thought of this from a people perspective. I always thought of it from a what we allow will continue. Negative thoughts, toxic tv shows and music, gossip, etc. When we keep nonsense in our hearts, that is what flows back out. People play such a huge role in that. Thanks for this new layer💛

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for adding your layer as well!
      I read a story once, kind of a modern parable, about a man who started entertaining guests in his home that were a bad influence on his family. Then you find out at the end of the story that the guests are actually the TV. Yes, maybe we don’t think about media being people because they aren’t physically sitting in the room with us, but they are still people, influencing us virtually with their ideas and words that might be toxic to our souls. Either way, we need to get rid of that toxic waste, not allowing anyone to dump into our hearts.


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