For good or bad, I grew up watching television. Most of the programs I enjoyed had good character lessons, filled with meaningful principles. “Little House on the Prairie” was probably my favorite and most watched show. One series I watched as a child and continued to watch with the hubby is The Andy Griffith Show. We have laughed through many episodes! One noteworthy character in the show provided some big laughs. No, I’m not talking about Barney Fife! I’m referring to Asa, the bank guard. The funny thing about Asa was that he really was never guarding the bank but usually sleeping.
As I read through Proverbs 4 today, I was again reminded of the importance of guarding the heart: “Guard your heart above all else . . .” (Proverbs 4:23a, NLT). Asa was not a diligent bank guard. And we are at risk of not being diligent in watching over our hearts. Asa was at risk of the town losing their money, but we are at risk of so much more if we fail to guard our hearts. “Mark out a straight path for your feet; stay on the safe path” (4:26). “Her [immoral woman] feet go down to death; her steps lead straight to the grave” (5:5). “Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life” (4:23). The direction of our lives is determined by what we dwell on, where our eyes go, where our feet go, who we represent. Remember how important it is to get wisdom (v. 1), and to love wisdom (v. 7), and she will guard you” (v. 6). “Take hold of my instructions; don’t let them go. Guard them, for they are the key to life” (v. 13).
As a young mom I allowed television to steal my time. I made the excuse I was winding down; it was how I relaxed. But I also invited programing that wasn’t good for guarding my heart. I’ve had many regrets from the wasted time that I stole from the Lord and my family. But I’m thankful that God convicted me and kept me from being swayed in a different direction. So now as I relax and unwind, guarding my heart is my priority.
Is your heart guarded like Asa’s bank vault? Or, do you vigilantly watch over the matters that you allow into the vault of your heart?
Guard your heart – it can be life or death!