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So I just finished reading Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility… It was fabulous. If you’ve never read it, definitely procure yourself a copy and devour it.

Anyway, it struck me how little some of the girls guarded their hearts. It started me thinking…

“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” [Proverbs 4:23, TNIV] That is one of my favorite verses.. and it applies so perfectly to this story. Everything you do really does flow from your heart, everything is affected by it. 

What is in your heart is going to have an effect on what comes out of your mouth. Whether you’re an optimistic, Pollyanna-ish person in your heart or tend to be on the negative side, it will show in what you say. Maybe you’re super good at hiding your feelings, but at some time or another it is going to show. Your words flow from what is in your heart. Jesus said so [Luke 6:45]. Whatever is in your heart, it will come to the surface.

Our hearts reflect who we really are, for everyone to see [Proverbs 27:19]. It brings about our actions. And you know that saying, “actions speak louder than words”? Well, it’s true. Think about when you hear somebody make a statement and then act in exact opposition to what they just said… which do you believe — what they do or what they say?

As influential as our words may be, and as much as they reflect our hearts, they are just words. Although our hearts will come out eventually, we can, for a time, say whatever we want.. hiding what’s really inside. That’s why we are supposed to prove what we say by actually living it [1 John 3:16-18]. 

And so.. to tie it all together..

In order to not have our lives all screwed up, pretending or claiming one thing while we secretly live another, all the while just hoping we aren’t on the verge of upsetting the whole facade.. guarding our hearts is such a necessity. Not guarding them from the outside world in the sense of hiding from it — but rather guarding our hearts from all the nonsense that is out there. Guarding against a lack of wisdom and discretion. Guarding against living in the same patterns as the rest of the world, for instant gratification instead of all that you know matters in the long run.