With All Diligence
“Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life.” (Pr 4:23)
Your heart is a feral animal. It will deceive you, jump to conclusions, and want things that it shouldn’t. If you let it take the wheel, it will destroy your life.
But it is also the doorway to joy, beauty, and a vibrant life... if you guide it with truth and Scripture.
Your heart can be good, but it can also be wicked. You have to watch it, and you have to watch it diligently. Diligence is when we act in a way that is thorough, persistent, and careful. Your heart needs the kind of regular maintenance and attention to detail that you would give to a precision engine. Changing your engine oil once isn’t very useful – doing it every 3,000 miles is.
Regular behavior is more profound than singular acts of goodness. Choose regular wholesome entertainment options and avoid all lewd options. Garbage in, garbage out. Good in, good out. It isn’t complicated, but it does require attention to the details. The podcasts we listen to, the movies we watch, the news we digest, and the social media we consume all should be regularly vetted for value and impact. It isn’t as simple as “set it and forget it” – your favorite show may turn dark directions, and your social media may need a hiatus from time-to-time. Assess regularly.
Also, seek out good company. After all, bad company corrupts good morals (see 1 Corinthians 13:3), but iron sharpens iron, too (see Proverbs 27:17). Spend time with people who make you better. Go to lunch with that older Christian who you want to be some day and just be around them. Choose peers who lead you to spiritual discussions, instead of the peers who always toy with the edges of right and wrong, living on the fringes of God’s moral code. Bad company doesn’t always look like the town drunk – it can just be the old, immature school buddy whom you should have grown out of years ago.
Our heart needs to be fed good things often. Tame your heart and direct it toward that which is lovely, good, and holy (see Philippians 4:8), and your life will overflow with refreshing and pure hope. A diligently watched heart knows what it is like to, “Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say rejoice!” (see Philippians 4:4)