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Guard Your Heart

God knows us better than we know ourselves.  He knows what we can handle and what we can not.  He also knows what little things it takes for us to lose sight of His glory and begin looking for our own glory.  Thus, he perfectly instructs us why and how to guard our hearts so that we can remain truly in him. This article may be convicting to some and anger others but we pray it leads to your holiness.

Proverbs 4:23-26
23 Guard your heart above all else,[a]
for it is the source of life.
24 Don’t let your mouth speak dishonestly,
and don’t let your lips talk deviously.
25 Let your eyes look forward;
fix your gaze[b] straight ahead.
26 Carefully consider the path[c] for your feet,
and all your ways will be established.
The Heart is our inner most core - the summation of our thoughts, feelings, desires, will, and wants. All things things together form who we are and our Heart (Proverbs 23:7; 27:19).

God makes it clear it is our HEART that is the source of life (or death).  But in the context of the heart, we then see what can impact and reflect our heart.  Our mind and senses impact and reflect our heart.  God looks beyond our actions and outward things and looks directly at the source of how we are, our heart (1 Samuel 16:7).

Just like we can damage our fleshly physical heart like high cholesterol from a poor diet, there are damaging spiritual things that can hurt us spiritually. Our spiritual hearts can harden and begin to pull away from God.  Prime example is the heart of the Pharaoh of Egypt. His heart hardened because he allowed for his eyes, mind, and speech to be corrupted, as God knew it was going to (Exodus 7:22; 8:32; 9:34).  David even begged his people not to allow their hearts to harden in Psalm 95:7–8.

"Guard your heart" by not letting things in your mind (but letting Godly things in).  That would require you to be actively (James 4:17) not to entertain sin (Romans 13:14) or get tangled up in sin (Hebrews 12:1) but to avoid (2 Tim 3:5), flee (2 Tim 2:22; 1 Cor 10:14), and escape (1 Cor 10:13) certain things and people (1 Cor 15:33; Romans 16:17) stay away from all forms of sin (1 Thess 5:22) and walk in the spirit (Galatians 5:16) in all aspects of life.

Also read The Self and The Center of Everything

What Things Corrupt our Hearts?

It seems to begin with doubting, arguing, ungratefulness, and complaining about the things that God has ordained (John 6:43; Philippians 2:14).  It balloons into slander, murder of the heart, coveting, and self idolatry (James 1:14–16).  Faith is overshadowed by the discontentment with God and a focus on the self and worldly solutions.  At this point, there is no faith and it is "impossible to please God" (Hebrews 11:6).  Core of corruption of the mind comes in Pride of self (Proverbs 16:5,18) and vanity (Ezekiel 28:17). From these all sorts of sins become 'justified' and minimized.  It is not what you do outwardly that corrupts but the corruption comes from within (Matthew 15:11) from what you allow in that changes you on the inside out.

Read it in full from God himself: Galatians 5:19-21; Matthew 5:22,28; Proverbs 6:16-19; Romans 1:28-32 and keep in mind that these are all manifestations of sin that is first in the heart.

Also read Follow Your Heart? | Born This Way

Modern Examples:

Softcore porn and sexualized nude scenes in movies is sexual immorality that comes in though the eyes and ears and into the mind where some will begin to think "well that does not seem so bad, at least it is not hardcore porn".  The corruption here is that the individual is giving attention and support to another person in sin.  They fail to see their own heart and the desire to view such things. (also read 50 Shades of Christian Deception)

Profane, vulgar, and insulting lyrics in music and books is another means of allowed corruption through the senses that enters the mind and effects the heart over time. Willfully accepting these means of corruption and down playing it as only "entertainment" is an attempt to belittle the eternal offensiveness to the absolute holy God.

Paying attention to slanderous talk and gossip and taking part of it with family, friends, and at work is another subtle thing that enters the mind, and when given thought and allow for corrupting the heart and cause disunity and division. 

Desiring an excessive amount of money, status, possessions, and worldly things that were not given to you but given to someone else. The expectation of reward and privilege of which was not given to you by God is the heart coveting and convincing the mind it should belong to you. (also read about Prosperity Teachings) 

Also read Have you been deceived by The World? | When Our Faith is Just Lip Service | Dating Non-christians | More Valuable than Money | Repentance

How to Guard your Heart

It starts with your mind and conforming to God's will above your own (2 Corinthians 10:3–5). Seek contentment in all that you have (Hebrews 13:5).  We are instructed to "put away" or "get rid of" things that corrupt our minds and hearts (Ephesians 4:31–32).  This is NOT dependent on anyone else but your self.  No one else can "put away" those kinds of attitudes and mindsets but yourself.  Pride in anything other than God (including your self) leads in one direction, further corruption of the heart (Proverbs 16:5,18).  Paul gets very specific to the church (Philippians 4:8):

whatever is true,
whatever is honorable,
whatever is just,
whatever is pure,
whatever is lovely,
whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise,
think about these things.

All these that we should be filling our mind with are things that are outside of ourselves.  In fact we should be seeking to do EVERYTHING for God's glory.  That includes going to movies, listening to music, reading books, our professions, and all our interactions with the world and society.

Colossians 3:17
"And whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him. "
Also read If Your Not Fighting Sin, Your Living It. | Faith Without Works is Dead | How To Fight Your Sin | The Beauty of Accountability | Fasting

Our Freedom to Choose what to put in our minds

We have access to anything and everything that can Glorify God and we have the freedom to do it but not all things do glorify God (1 Cor 6:12).  Can a current and active porn star dedicate their porn scene to God for God's glory?  That is the same as doing any sin in the name of Jesus.  That is not helpful or beneficial to you or anyone (Romans 6:1-2).  So what should we choose to seek and do to glorify God? Have the mind of Christ. (also read When the claim of Freedom is really Blind Pride)

Also read Christian Sinners or Christian Hypocrites | How "Love is Love" is Unloving. | Don't Judge Me | God's Truths are Not a Matter of Opinions

The Mind of Christ

We are in fact called to have the mind of Christ.  We can know how we should understand the world and culture around us.  When we come to faith the process of transforming into becoming Christ like starts and it begins with "renewing your mind" (Romans 12:1-2).  And the renewal of your mind can happen because you are given a new heart (Ezekiel 11:19; Jeremiah 24:7).  The first thing that happens when our minds are renewed is we start to think selfless, sacrificially, and humble; just like Christ (Philippians 2:5-8).

Question you need to ask yourself to test your heart:
  1. Are you okay with watching softcore porn scenes and sexualized nudity in movies?
    1. Would you still watch other people have sex, if Jesus was in the room with you?
  2. Do you enjoy listening to music that is sinfully offensive to God in its lyrics? 
    1. Would you repeat these lyrics and sing those songs with Jesus?
  3. Do you see no problem with spreading rumors about others?   
  4. Do you see other people's sin as entertainment to you? 
If you answered yes, or realized you would answer yes, to any of these 4 questions, we pray you seek the counsel of God and pray that the Holy Spirit opens your eyes and mind to these corruptions of the mind. That you can be embolden and empowered to see, resist, and conform to the mind of Christ and be a bright light to the world around you.

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