Category : General
Proverbs 4: 23(KJV)
23Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.
“He who knows any thing of himself, knows how apt his affections are to go astray.”
The “heart,” in Scripture, implies the whole spiritual end aspiring part in man. Keeping the heart is controlling the whole spiritual condition of our nature. Amost important reason is here assigned for “keeping the heart with all diligence,” because “out of it are the issues of life.”
It has also been observed that “Men are apt to consider the regulation of external conduct as the chief object of religion. If they can act their part with decency, and maintain a fair character, they conceive their duty to be fulfilled. The wise man advises us to attend to our thoughts and desires. The issues of life are justly said to be out of the heart, because the state of the heart is what determines our moral character, and what forms our chief happiness or misery.”
The exhortation is to keep the mind from vanity, the understanding from error, the will from perverseness, the conscience clear of guilt, the affections from being inordinate and set on evil objects, the thoughts from being employed on bad subjects; and the whole from falling into the hands of the enemy, or being the possession of Satan: great diligence had need be used in keeping it, since it is naturally so deceitful and treacherous; a strict eye is to be kept upon it; all the avenues to it to be watched, that nothing hurtful enters, or evil comes out
The state of the heart determines our moral character. The tenor of our actions will always correspond to the dispositions that prevail within. On whatever side the weight of inclination hangs, it will draw the practice after it. Independent of all action, it is, in truth, the state of the heart itself which forms our character in the sight of God. In the eye of the Supreme Being, dispositions hold the place of actions; and it is not so much what we perform as the motive which moves us to performance that constitutes us good or evil in His sight. The rectification of our principles of action is the primary object of religious discipline. The regeneration of the heart is everywhere represented in the gospel as the most essential requisite in the character of a Christian.
Therefore, we are to guard it most carefully; with all kind of diligence, and above all other cares: guard it from evil thoughts and evil desires: for if we have evil desires, it is impossible for us to refrain from evil actions. Our heart, corrupted as it is, will cause our destruction, if we do not employ all our care, in dependence on the blessing of God, to guard it well; to observe its motions, to regulate its inclinations, to repress its sallies. Let the issues of life, which are said to spring from the heart, be those of eternal life, and then the words will mean, that on the state of the heart depends the salvation of the soul.
Have a great and God filled day!