May 16, 2018
“Guard Your Heart”
One morning I decided to attack the tall vegetation in the back alley with a double blade weed cutter. After the back neighbor’s dogs quit barking, it was going very well, until a small particle flew up and hit me in the eye. It turned out to be no problem, but it prompted me to retrieve safety goggles from the garage before whacking any more weeds. Again, all was going well until another particle landed in my mouth. That too was inconsequential, but rather than spend time getting something to cover my mouth, I just decided to keep my mouth shut.
Even the simplest of tasks can remind us of ones that are more important: like guarding our eyes, not from what can harm them, but from what can corrupt the soul. Job spoke of making a covenant with his eyes, (31:1) so that they would not lead him into temptation and sin. John warned against “desires of the eyes” that are not of God but of the world. (1 Jo. 2:16) Protecting our eyes guards our souls from accepting as good what is harmful.
Along with the eyes, we are to protect our mouth, not from what goes in it, but from what comes out. Jesus said that what comes out of us reveals the content of our heart, which harbors all matter of sinful desires. (Matt 15:18-19) If such content is motiving our words, the best guard is to keep the mouth shut. Not everything needs saying, especially if it does not edify. Christ sanctified our neighbor with His blood shed on the cross. We need not destroy His work with careless and harmful talk. His blood also sanctified us, so that we can open our mouth to speak words that glorify Him and build up our neighbor.
When I finished the alley, a blister reminded me that next time I should also protect my hand. Yes, Christ sanctified that too.