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Guard Your Heart
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February is National Heart Month, and most of us know the habits needed for good heart health: get daily exercise; eat a diet consisting of vegetables, fruits, low-fat proteins and whole grains; shed extra weight; stay away from cigarettes; keep a healthy cholesterol level; and control stress—to name a few.

But in Proverbs 4, King Solomon talks about a different type of heart care that he says will “bring health to one’s whole body.” He tells us to take care of our hearts in this way: “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” So just how do you do this? How do you “guard” or protect your heart in a way that will give you spiritual, emotional, and even physical health? Solomon gives some examples in verses 24-27:

Solomon's Tells How

“Keep your mouth free of perversity; 
keep corrupt talk far from your lips.” Gossip, lies, swearing, and other poor language choices aren’t good for your health. They can stir up anger and bitterness inside of you that causes stress.

“Let your eyes look straight ahead;
 fix your gaze directly before you.” It’s tempting to look at what other people are doing, or at what they might have, and wish for a more exciting life. Being discontent with what you don’t have can lead to depression.

“Give careful thought to the paths for your feet 
and be steadfast in all your ways.” To be steadfast means to be faithful. So be faithful and remove from your life those habits that you know aren’t good for you—that will only hurt you.

“Do not turn to the right or the left;
 keep your foot from evil.” In other words, don’t follow the crowd. Don’t’ give into pressure from your peers because “every one else is doing it.” Stay on the path that leads you to God, and eventually, to heaven.

This month, while remembering all the things that you need to do to have a healthy heart, remember the wise words of Solomon. Remember to spiritually “guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” 

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By Nancy Canwell. Copyright © 2014 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture taken from the NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION ®.

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