To guard means to protect, watch over, defend, or supervise entries. When you think of guarding something such as an idea, a concept or someone or something, it is of value to you. This value carries weight or importance. Anything that is important to you has made an impression on you or we could say you were captivated by or passionate about. Whatever we are captivated by or passionate about we guard, protect and has our undivided attention.
We are captivated by our surroundings. How could we not be? We live in this high tech world and are constantly bombarded with information and sensationalized with events that capture our attention.
What grabs your attention? What thrill do you seek? What drives you? To be captivated is to attract and hold the attention of, to charm. I ask these questions myself. Our life goes by so fast and we allow the things that captivate our attention moment by moment to slowly then suddenly dictate the choices we make.
Guarding our hearts is no different and requires our attention and awareness. This happens slowly, gradually and then all of a sudden, what required your focus and devotion initially now becomes a series of choices and eventually a habit either for good or bad. Ultimately, you eventually fall in love with what you are captivated by, passionate about and what you focus on.
I like to compare the process of guarding your heart to embracing a new skill such as learning how to drive a manual car! I remember learning how to drive my mom’s 1984 Toyota Corolla. This car was manual everything! From the windows, locks, steering, brakes, all manual. Hard to believe these types of cars even existed. The “special feature” included a trunk that was held together by two bungee cords. The car’s original color was dark blue. However when I started driving the car it was rust with dark blue because it had seen many Minnesota winters. It was a set of wheels and really that’s all that I cared about! I was captivated.
With this rusty car, my passion was of one focus and that focus was driving. As ugly as that car was, I was charmed with the thought of the freedom that awaited me. I may have learned how to drive in an automatic however the passion to learn how to drive that manual car had my complete attention.
If you have ever driven a manual car you know initially it requires complete focus. All of your limbs are involved. One hand on the wheel, the other on the stick, one foot on the clutch the other shifting either from the brake to the gas. With practice and overcoming the fear of avoiding hills; listening to the car and knowing when to shift gears became easy.
I remained focused on the prize, which was mastering that car. My intention was to drive. My thoughts, eyes, ears, were captivated and fixed on driving this car. As I rehearsed the victory of driving, it became easier to rest in the 1984 Corolla. I remained focused and did’t allow distractions to inhibit me from crashing or losing that rusty car. I guarded that car because it was valuable and affected everywhere I wanted to go!
Our hearts our more valuable than that rusty 1984 Corolla and whatever thoughts we plant, fear, faith, love, hate, etc take root and grow. What we give our attention to grows. Proverb 4:23 says “Guard your heart for it affects everything you do!” What we focus on or what we allow to continually captures our thoughts will frame our choices and these frequent choices become habitual and then eventually the blueprint for our lifestyle. 2 Cor 10:5 talks about holding every thought captive, when we guard our thoughts, take inventory we begin to guard our heart from being distracted from our purpose, discontentment, unthankfulness and deception. When we hold every though captive, we are guarding our heart. We pay attention to what we are captivated by or passionate about. The thoughts we feed ourselves we become because as a man thinks in his heart so is he! When we realize that we become what we ponder we begin to guard our heart!