Guarding Our Most Valuable Possession

 
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“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” -Proverbs 4:23

Your heart is the most important thing about you because it is the most important thing to God. It is the very thing Jesus paid the ultimate price for. Contrary to popular belief, the heart is not an uncontrollable bank of emotions but it is the center of where all will, motivation, and thoughts take place. It is the place we find our deepest wants and desires, where all of who we are, and what makes us unique, is birthed out of. That is why the Bible tells us to keep, to watch, and to guard our heart with all diligence and vigilance.

There is a judge in the Bible named Samson (Judg. 13-16). He was given supernatural strength as long as he kept the Nazarite vow, which enabled him to kill a lion with his bare hands and an entire army of Philistines with a donkey’s jawbone. The opposing nations had no chance of victory against him. Hence, one could likely assume the opposing army’s strategy was to find the source of Samson’s strength and to utterly destroy it.

As many of us know, Samson does give away the secret to his strength. His story vividly displays the consequences of one man’s careless attention to his heart. For us, we can learn two key things from Samson’s failure to guard his heart:

Guarding Your Input

One day, Samson falls in love with a woman named Delilah, unable to recognize that she has ulterior motives to turn him over to the Philistines. She is persistent in finding the source of Samson’s strength. Finally, she gets him to share “all his heart.” Lo and behold, the Philistines capture Samson, cut his hair, strip him of his strength and gouge out both his eyes and bind him in shackles. Samson’s fall was a result of his unguarded, irresponsible care over his possessions and himself.  

I am naturally an incredibly emotional and sensitive person. As I’ve grown more aware of how God made my heart, I have taken practical steps to prevent distractions from invading my heart. As a hopeless romantic, I stray away from chick flicks that take my mind to an unrealistic fantasy world. As a words of affirmation person, I constantly pray, “God, keep praise from getting to my head and criticism from getting to my heart.” As an information junkie, I refrain myself from being on my phone from 9 pm to 9 am so I can give my most valuable time to my husband and to the Lord. I do these things because I know how easy it is for things to creep into my heart just as Delilah got into Samson’s heart. It isn’t so much about being disciplined as much as it is about being aware of what gets in the way of intimacy with God.

Guarding Your Output

Samson’s fall didn’t just come from who he let in, but also what he let out. He shared the secret of his supernatural strength to someone who he should not have shared with. But his sharing speaks volumes about him more than it does about Delilah. Because in Luke 6:45b it says “for the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.” So it was just a matter of time before Samson shared intimate information. And just like Samson, we can have the tendency to overshare whether it is from the need to overcompensate or pressure to overperform. At times, I’ve felt the need to over explain myself out of an absolute hatred towards being misunderstood and a deep desire to be truly known.

I am sure we all have our stories of how we gave our heart away to hopes and dreams that were not God Himself. We might find ourselves struggling with the pain of rejection and regret. However, that is not where our story ends. For Samson, even after his inability to guard his heart, there was hope because “the hair on his head began to grow again..” (Judg. 16:22) Samson may have failed to guard his heart by giving others access prematurely, but the story shows that our God is a God of redemption because the source of Samson’s strength was not his hair but in his God. And at the end, God answers his last request for renewed supernatural strength to bring down two pillars and there, Samson’s life came to an end.

The best way to guard our hearts every single moment of every single day is to ultimately learn to constantly give it to God because He is the only one who can fully satisfy and the only one who can truly justify.

Esther Chung is a wife and college & young adult pastor who lives in Orange County, CA. She graduated from Biola University with a B.A. in Christian Ministries and Talbot School of Theology with a M.A. in Bible Exposition. 

 
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