- Melinda K. Bowens
So, what if I...guarded my heart?
Guard your heart.
Honestly, that has been one of these most confounding phrases in the Bible to me. Partly because, it’s only three words so I feel it should be fairly easy to grasp (it is not, by the way). But also, I like to believe that if I think really hard about something then I can come up with the right answer eventually. Maybe if I was re-teaching myself the inverted pyramid of journalism that would be correct, but the heart is a bit more complicated.
On and off I’ve been really invested in the idea of personal growth and being my best self. And by I’ve been invested, I mean some really amazing people around me have been invested in my growth and I finally stopped being stubborn long enough to realize they were right. It only took me a couple (or eight) years to come around to the idea. That’s nothing! Well, technically that’s almost a decade. But the real point is, I’m here now and trying!
In those eight years of my trying to logically understand growth (which is an oxymoron by the way), a supervisor of mine decided to drop this gem of knowledge on me: “Melinda, you can’t read your way out of this.” Ugh! Well, first of all, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me! Now, I didn’t really respond with that comeback, but it would have been perfect! Out of context, but perfect. However, I did what I always do when I don’t quite understand something, I nodded, smiled, and tried to figure out it out on my own. I didn’t like what he told me, but I knew it was true. No one book, article, or list of top 10 things was going to ensure that my heart was in pristine condition. But that didn’t mean I was going to stop searching.
Later, I was reading “Enemies of the Heart” by Andy Stanley that compared checking the spiritual heart to the physical heart. He had my attention with an example I could follow. He stated a physical heart is monitored with an EKG, so we must develop a spiritual EKG of sorts.
Now, the example made sense to me, but in true nerdy fashion I decided to take it a step further and research the specifications of the procedure. What better place to gather my data than everyone’s favorite online diagnostic physician, WebMD. Yes, the same website that tells me I either have a common cold or 13th century bubonic plague. That website! But this time, my favorite web doctor was helpful!
According to my findings, a physical EKG is a short medical test that does the following:
Checks the hearts rhythm
Checks for poor blood flow to the heart
Diagnoses a heart attack
Checks for abnormalities in the heart
So, why did I just go all basic level Grey’s Anatomy in this post? For a very good reason! The physical heart really doesn’t operate much differently than the spiritual heart. Both have a rhythm, a flow, can be under attack and suffer from abnormalities that are unsafe for us. But in the same way we monitor the physical heart, the spiritual heart can be monitored as well. Hear me out!
According to my creativity, a spiritual EKG is short soul test that does the following:
Checks the rhythm of our spiritual lives
Checks the quality of what is coming in and out of our hearts
Diagnoses when the heart is unguarded
Checks for deviation from God
If we knew our physical heart were breaking down a little every day, we would scramble to find a solution because we want to live. The same works for our spiritual heart. Every day that we fail to intentionally guard our heart, it (and our lives) breaks down bit by bit.
So, what are the results your spiritual EKG?
Question of the day:
What would happen if you guarded your heart?
Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.
Proverbs 4:23, NLT
A good person brings good out of the treasure of good things in his heart; a bad person brings bad out of his treasure of bad things. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.
Luke 6:45 GNT
The heart is deceitful above all things, and it is exceedingly corrupt: who can know it?
Jeremiah 17:9 ASV