The heart is the source of life for the body. It directs and distributes the flow of blood and nutrients throughout every limb, from the top of the head to the very tip of every finger and toe. Without it, no creature could survive. At the same time, a weak or diseased heart is detrimental to one’s existence. If there is an issue of any kind with the heart, it spreads and defects the entire body.
The same vessel that is cherished for bringing life can also bring forth death.
Just like the physical heart is the source of life for our bodies, so is our figurative heart the source of life for our spirit. Our hearts are also considered the center of our being that holds the essence of our every emotion - the starting place of our thoughts which eventually lead to words and actions. Whatever is in our heart affects the choices we make and the attitude we portray.
Matthew 12:33-35 puts it like this: “Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit...For out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaketh. A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things.”
The fruit of our lives depends on the condition of our heart.
Solomon was telling us to protect our hearts from becoming tainted because he knew that once the heart was infected, the rest of our lives would suffer. It’s a choice we make - to either nurture or neglect our heart. If we consistently fill our hearts with goodness, we will see that same goodness overflow into every other aspect of our lives. But if we allow attributes like pride, vanity, jealousy, bitterness, or anger take root in the center of our heart, we will see the rest of our lives start to mirror the ugliness we hold inside.
So above all things, guard your heart. Keep it pure and holy. Nurture it with God’s Word - the root of every good thing. Let it produce peace and joy and encouragement and praise all of your days, with everything that you are. Never neglect your heart - don’t allow sin to weaken it and cause your spirit to bear corrupt fruit. And if you feel your heart is in a weak or broken state, remember that you know the Healer of all things who loves you deeper than you can imagine. He can bring strength and life to a heart that has suffered great disease and is on the brink of death. All you have to do is surrender it to Him.
Pray: “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation and uphold me with thy free spirit.” (Psalms 51:10-12)