Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life. Proverbs 4:23
I meditated on this verse over the weekend. Why did God ask me to guard my heart above all else? He didn’t ask me to guard our home or my reputation; He said to guard my heart.
Because it determines the course of my life.
I am the best guardian of my heart. I cannot expect my husband or my friends to guard my heart. That is solely my responsibility.
For this reason, I cannot let anyone have so much control over what comes from my heart. Do you find yourself shattered or often hurt because someone did or said something which offended you? Then, you react with sorrow or with anger? I’ve been there.
I was heavily offended by chatter my daughter heard from her family regarding one of my blog posts. I instantly drew from a well deep within me and stated, “Why can’t your family just stay out of my business? Why am I still, after a decade, a topic of their conversations? Don’t they have anything better to do?”
Avoid all perverse talk; stay away from corrupt speech.” Proverbs 4:24
Friends, I was hurt. This blog is intended to uplift, inspire and perhaps show you are not alone on this messy journey. It is part of my testimony. I took it personally.
After a few minutes of talk and tears, I had to step back and see the big picture. I am not responsible for other people’s actions toward me and neither am I responsible for their unguarded words.
I am responsible for how I choose to react to them. And it is hard. Especially, when my children are involved.
I am not who I was 10 years ago. I am not who I was just 2 years ago. Part of maturing and growing in my faith is walking straight ahead.
Look straight ahead, and fix your eyes on what lies before you. Mark out a straight path for feet; stay on that path. Proverbs 4:25-26
In retrospect, I don’t have to explain to anyone that I’m not who I used to be. It is not my duty to convince anyone of that. Not even the Almighty requires it of me because He already knows.
Darkness knows how to use people, how to manipulate them against another. I am not responsible for how people act when they allow themselves to be used. When I allow my heart to be taken along, it is me who has abandoned post at the entrance of my heart. At this point, I’ve allowed myself to be used as well.
Darkness cannot feed where I do not allow it.
…As for me and my family, we will serve the Lord. Joshua 24:15
I serve another God when darkness rules in my heart. Therefore, I will not allow idol chatter to consume me. It is also not my daughter’s duty to make everyone happy. It is not her burden and it is not her destiny.
Neither is it mine.
Have you been at the butt end of someone else’s conversation, friend? Here are three things to remember when you are sideswiped by someone else’s “small talk” of you:
1.People’s opinions of you are none of your business.
This is difficult because it can bite at your pride and your image. The opinions fall on deaf ears when spoken to people who are in the front row of your journey. Those in the front row may be very, very few. Guess who is the One who is always in the front row? You are who God says you are.
2.Know whose opinion matters.
… the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world. – 1John 4:4. Friend, I know what it’s like to constantly keep your mouth shut. I know how it feels to be the one who constantly keeps the peace. It gets heavier and heavier as words fly out from left and right. Especially, when it is familial. Do not let it consume you. God has already named you.
I guarantee that the offender slept well at night and didn’t bat an eye after speaking the words of offense. So, why are you losing sleep when they are not? Nine times out of ten they don’t even remember they said it! Nothing is more hurtful that brewing over something for weeks, months even, then finding the person never even realized what they said. Are you kidding me? This is precisely why as soon as it falls on your ears, move on.
Our actions will show that we belong to the truth, so we will be confident when we stand before God. Even if we feel guilty, God is greater than our feelings, and he knows everything. 1John 3:19-20
Be blessed and walk confidently in who you are today. Don’t let darkness try to erase your testimony. Guard your heart.
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