I love cheese. I mean, who doesn’t? (Sorry vegans! We still love you.) There is nothing better than cheese on a burger. And then we have the concoction known as Swiss cheese. Swiss cheese has the big and small holes in the cheese. Whether you like Swiss cheese or not, you could probably agree that sometimes, our heart is like Swiss Cheese.
Our hearts take a lot of hits. Heartbreak, traumas, loss, grief, pain–all of these things hit us hard. The problem is we usually know this about ourselves; however, we bury the problem. We ignore the pain but post on social media about our “best life”. And we indulge in something—anything that will serve as a distraction. We follow lesser gods and bigger egos and we are left with more emptiness.
“Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.” -Proverbs 4:23
We must guard our hearts. It sounds like something out of Robin Hood or a modern love story. If there is something we have not IGNORED in today’s culture it is mentioning the heart. We talk about the heart all of the time in music, social media, and art. We get tattoos of hearts and names on our bodies. We spend money on cute signs with love quotes and hearts for our homes and offices. And the heart emoji is used endlessly in texts and on social media.
There are two extremes that usually exist in dealing with our hearts (unless we are guarding them):
Extreme #1: Throwing your heart all over the place. This is not vulnerability. This is someone who puts everything out there on social media and to the world all of the time to “just be real”. You didn’t guard anything. You gave your heart and all of you to everyone and everything. There is a time and place to share personal things to give others a piece of wisdom. Don’t overshare. You are worth getting to know!
Extreme #2: Lock your heart up. This is common if you have experienced some significant trauma or loss in your life. It is easier to never let anyone in again, correct? Looking at it for face-value, sure, you will never get hurt again. However, with that mindset, you will never experience deep relationships (friendly or love). We were created as relational beings.
So what does guarding your heart look like? It means praying for wisdom. Who can you trust with your heart? These are people that will walk through the heavenly highs and hellish lows with you. They will breathe life into you in a culture that is bent on tearing others down. And they will be few in numbers. Jesus did some of his most profound ministry in small numbers—12 disciples, 1-on-1 conversations, etc. Your greatest heart-work as a believer will be in smaller settings.
Guard your heart. From it springs LIFE. And be sure to pour into others and those who walked that road with you.