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23 Keep your heart with all diligence, 
For out of it spring the issues of life. 
24 Put away from you a deceitful mouth, 
And put perverse lips far from you. 
25 Let your eyes look straight ahead, 
And your eyelids look right before you. 
26 Ponder the path of your feet, 
And let all your ways be established. 
27 Do not turn to the right or the left; 
Remove your foot from evil. 

The term keep or guard your heart can be misunderstood.  From a purely secular perspective, it has come to mean not letting too many people get close.  Not letting people into your life so they won't hurt you.  

But this passage is referring to protecting your heart or your inner life.  The life in us flows out of our heart, so how do we guard that area?   

Solomon gives three things to watch over.  After he said, guard your heart, he revealed how to do just that.   

Watch your words.  A deceitful mouth can also mean devious.  Speaking things that leave the correct or accepted way.  There is nothing more correct than God's word, so a devious mouth says things contrary to God's word.  Perverse can mean willful opposition to what is right.  Certainly, there is a great deal more about this area.  But if you want to guard your heart, guard your mouth.   

The second area is your focus.  What are you looking at?  Eyes straight ahead would imply not getting distracted by things that are not profitable. We tend to move in the direction of our focus, so we have to ensure our focus honors God.  Any area that you want to change in your life starts with your words and then examine what you are consistently focused on and thinking about.   

The last area to pay attention to is if you want to guard your heart is your walk.  This would be our actions, how we live.  The phrase our walk indicates lifestyle.  To guard our hearts, we must pay attention to how we live.  We can't keep walking down wrong paths or evil paths and expect to be spiritually sound and strong.  In addition, when we do wrong, we feel convicted in our hearts and lose confidence with God.   

Our words.  Our focus and thoughts and our walk, how we live.  These areas make up a big part of our lives here on earth.  And we'll be developing these three for the duration down here.  But if we pay attention to these three areas, we'll protect our hearts.  And a protected heart is a strong heart.  And in today's world, we need strong-hearted believers making a difference for God's kingdom.   



Dear Heavenly Father.   

Teach me more about guarding my heart with my words, focus and walk.  Show me how to live stronger from the inside out.