The Hidden Chamber: Guard Your Heart

Suddenly, a young wife files for divorce. Suddenly, a college student’s grades drop and his attitude changes. Suddenly, a man’s harmless pastime becomes a destructive habit. Each looks for someone else to blame. But the real enemy lurks within — in the heart. Not the organ that pumps blood through our veins, but that invisible, intangible place where we experience all of our emotions.

“We are all taught to monitor our words and actions but God wants us to monitor our thoughts.” — Andy Stanley

Think about your childhood. When did you learn to modify your behavior in order to get what you wanted (or avoid what you didn’t want)? Are there situations today in which you’ve learned to modify your behavior to make life work, but you’ve not necessarily addressed your heart issues? Why does simply changing your behavior not get to the core of the issue?

Read Matthew 15:18–19 —

18 But the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart, and these defile them. 19 For out of the heart come evil thoughts — murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander.

Have you had an experience that illustrates the connection between the mouth and the heart?

Read Proverbs 4:23 —

23 Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.

Why is it important to guard your heart? How well do you guard what goes into your heart? What do you need to change to do a better job of guarding your heart?

A corrupt heart will wreak havoc in your relationships. You can try to temper your speech and control your actions, but those who are closest will eventually feel the condition of your heart. What damage could be caused if you live life without monitoring your heart?

What is the state of your heart? Are you mad at anybody? Have you had any extended imaginary conversations lately? Anything going on in your life that you hope nobody discovers? Is there a question you hope nobody asks you?

What do you need to change to do a better job of guarding your heart?

Adapted from the book “Enemies of the Heart” by Andy Stanley at North Point Community Church

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Originally published at blog.goconnections.org.