Proverbs 4:23, “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”
The phrase “guard your heart” is thrown around a lot in Christian communities. Often, it is used in the context of dating relationships when someone is warning someone else about being unintentional. However, guarding your heart can also be applied to an entirely different context: physical health.
The value of physical health
In the midst of today’s hectic and doing-obsessed culture, it’s rare that I find myself in moments of rest. When I do find myself in a moment that is free from work or school commitments, my first instinct is to grab my laptop, crawl into bed and let my brain go numb while watching Netflix. However, as I savor these occasions of rest, it’s easy to forget that using my body is glorifying to God.
I love Proverbs 4:23 because there are so many ways to interpret it. On one hand this verse tells us to guard our hearts because we worship God and love others from our hearts. In this sense it is vital that we guard our hearts so that we can live lives of purity, righteousness and holy devotion to God. On the other hand, this verse tells us, in a more literal and biological sense, to guard our hearts because everything we do actually flows from it.
Our hearts are the center of our lives
Our hearts are the center of our lives, biologically speaking as well. The blood that my heart pumps through my veins and throughout my body gives me life, the ability to move, breathe and live. In this sense, guarding our hearts means taking care of them and keeping them healthy.
It’s important to remember that our biological lives are just as much a gift from God as our spiritual lives. God has equipped our bodies with the power to heal and grow, just as he has given our spiritual bodies the power to be redeemed and sanctified.
As you think about the gift of your physical health, considering rethinking your attitude towards exercise and healthy eating. Do you feel God calling you to make any changes regarding your physical health? What steps can you take towards better glorifying God through how you use your physical body?