Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.Proverbs 4:23 NLT
Ah, love. It’s in the air. Well, at least in high schools across the land. There is a curious ritual that occurs every school year where teen boys and teen girls seek their perfect match. Some find it very quickly and begin the dating ceremony within the first few days of school. Others take their time, searching for “the one,” but eventually settle for the one in front of them. Still, others find romantic love developing out of a friendship.
Within this seeking, finding, and loving, relationships can become all-consuming. Suddenly, other friendships are tossed to the side. Homework is neglected in order to spend time with that special someone. Time spent on the telephone multiplies from minutes to hours. Messages are sent back-and-forth and back-and-forth. Those who are mature enough can find balance and still live aspects of their lives not connected to the relationship. Others find that their world begins to revolve around that one person.
Unfortunately, whether we’re in high school or not, we always have things, and/or people in our life that consume our time. Hopefully, they’re mostly things/people we love. But, often times, these things, or people distract us from what is truly important.
In the Scriptures, Jesus tells us that there are two extremely important commandments: Love God above all else; love our neighbor as ourselves. (Matthew 22:36-40) Here’s the issue. We often times flip these around to where loving God comes in second place.
This is where our verse for today comes in. We are called to “guard our heart.” In other words, be careful what, or who you love. If we are spending more energy, time, talents, and treasure loving someone or something more than God, then we need to hit the brakes and re-prioritize our lives. As the verse continues, what we love determines the outcome of our lives. In other words, if we love things or people more than God, our salvation comes into question.
Here’s the test to see if things are in the right priority: If the Holy Spirit asked you to end the relationship or give up your most precious stuff, would you do it? Be honest. If the answer is yes, then your heart is guarded and focused on the right One. If the answer is no, or I don’t know, then spend some time evaluating what you must do to get to yes.