Digging Deeper in Proverbs 4(c)


Proverbs 4:23 “Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.”

Man’s wisdom says: Find out what you love, and pursue it. God’s wisdom says: Find out if what you love is worthy of pursuit. If not – get a new love.

Guard and govern what you let yourself love. Moths are attracted to the flame, and often so are we. We can be intrigued with brazen sin, and with diversions in study and even religion. With our mates, careers, hobbies, etc. Enjoy them, we are supposed to enjoy them – but do not love them the same.

The Worlds’ wisdom and God’s are ever at odds. And when you stumble across passages like this one, the differences are highlighted with stunning clarity. For there is probably no place where the very core of what it means to live – to live life – is better unfolded than in examining the loves of our own hearts. Who and what we love speaks volumes.

In fact, it is those loves which set the entire course for our lives and determine how and what we do.

We decide what to do and when based upon what we love. Yes, sometimes those loves are competing and complex – but the main thought here runs true. I may not “love” the idea of having my body cut open and parts removed while I am asleep and helpless, but if I love the idea of remaining alive, I’ll subject myself to the surgeon’s knife anyway.

Love of one thing will make me forsake other things I love – like love for health making me forsake a diet of nothing but ice cream cakes. But in the final analysis, it is always what I love most, which will win out. This holds the key to each of us analyzing the decisions we make. Hence, we have this admonition from the writer of Proverbs 4 to “keep” our hearts, guard them with all “vigilance”. Because the waters of your life and mine, flow out from that place. What we love, will determine how that river flows. Violently after certain loves; Purely after others; Consistently after still others, and Refreshingly to those around us out of other loves yet.

If we were to contrast the World’s wisdom at this point most clearly against the backdrop of God’s wisdom – we could perhaps do it this way: Man’s wisdom says: “Find out what you love, and pursue it.” It is the mantra not only of career counselors, but also of the Church at times. But the wisdom from above says instead: “Find out if what you love is worthy of pursuit. And if it isn’t – get a new love.” This is what it means to guard or keep you heart – to govern what you allow it to love.

In our day of people literally being victims of “falling in love” as though it is utterly involuntary, the Bible bids us to live higher, and infinitely free-er. So my friend – what are the things you love? Are they worthy? If not – get new ones. You’ll find that will ALWAYS lead you to the most worthy One of all. And there – you can love and pursue with utter abandon and joy.

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