Guard your heart, and it will impact how you live. Watch how you live, and it will protect your heart. That’s what I’m picking up this morning from what I think Solomon is laying down.
Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.
Put away from you crooked speech, and put devious talk far from you.
Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you.
Ponder the path of your feet; then all your ways will be sure.
Do not swerve to the right or to the left; turn your foot away from evil.
(Proverbs 4:23-27 ESV)
A bit of a full physical conducted by the Great Physician’s Helper, this morning. Covers the bases . . . heart, mouth, eyes, mind, and feet.
The king’s been encouraging his son to “Get wisdom”, to pursue insight. Don’t forget her, he says. Don’t forsake her, he says. Love her. Prize her highly. Embrace her dearly. (Prov. 4:5-8).
And why has dad been harping so much on getting wisdom? Because it’s a zero sum game. No neutral ground. If you’re not purposefully walk down wisdom’s street, you’re on your way to stumbling down the dark allies of the bad side of town (4:18-19). The path of the wicked. The way of evil. The road to be avoided. The street from which it’s best just to pass on (4:13-15).
It’s one or the other. The way of wisdom or the way of fools. Insight’s thoroughfare, or the simpleton’s dead end. Either taking the easy way, entering through the wide gate chosen by the masses which leads to destruction or, by God’s grace and enabling, opting for the narrow gate, the sure to be more difficult way, which leads to life (Matt. 7:13-14).
It’s one or the other. And from time to time, it’s good to get your bearings. And that, through a full physical.
How’s the heart? Gotta start there. It’s the source of everything else. For it’s out of the heart that true life flows or evil is birthed (Matt. 15:19). If the heart’s hurting, it will soon manifest itself through the rest of the body — the mouth, eyes, mind, and feet. So guard your heart. Post a sentry over it. One that carries a two-edged sword. One able, and not afraid, to splay soul and spirit, joints and marrow, and call out the thoughts and intentions of the heart (Heb. 4:12).
Then, what about your speech? Gracious? Seasoned with salt (Col. 4:6)? Or off kilter and off color?
How about your eyes? Focused on the right things? Looking to Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith (Heb. 12:2)? Or askew? Looking over at the “greener grass” on the world’s side of the fence?
How about what’s going on between the ears? Is the mind set on things above (Col. 3:2)? Engaged in the divine dynamic of inner transformation through ongoing renewal? Actively filtering and testing the many inputs coming at it in order to discern the good and acceptable and perfect will of God (Rom. 12:2)? Or, set on things below. More interested in the world’s apparent wisdom than heaven’s eternal ways?
And then, the feet. Check out the feet. Where they heading? What paths are they choosing? Walking a straight line or swerving all over the place, with no apparent overall destination in view?
Not judging. Just checking. Not pointing fingers. More of a self-examination. Not to evoke shame, but to know afresh the power of the cross. Not so I’d simply suck it up, pick it up, and do better. Instead, through the enabling Spirit of God living in me, that I’d affirm anew my desire to know Wisdom.
. . . you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption . . .
(1Corinthians 1:30 ESV)
Thank God for full physicals.
Those too, because of His grace and for His glory.