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Guarding Our Heart Containers

“Nothing reveals more about our hearts than our words and actions. Our heart contains the motivations for what we do and why we do it.”

Crystal McDowell


Our hearts are like containers: depending on what’s in them, that’s what will come out. Just like a pitcher of lemonade can only pour out lemonade, so too we pour out to others what is in our heart container. Jesus, being familiar with this, said in Matthew 15:18-19: “But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander.” What’s in our hearts will eventually come out and that is why King Solomon encouraged us to guard our hearts, above all else, because everything we do flows from it (Proverbs 4:23).


It all starts in our hearts; therefore, we need to guard them. The unprocessed heart, the one that is full of unhealed wounds, comes out in sinful actions. Unless we take care of our hearts, we too will sin. That’s why “hurt people, hurt people.”


We guard our hearts by processing them. Instead of “stamp collecting” our offenses, we keep short accounts. Instead of storing up our hurt, we release it through forgiveness. Instead of demanding pay back from our offenders, we bless and pray for them. Instead of stuffing our loss and disappointments, letting them turn into bitterness, we grieve them.


Our actions, words, and emotions show what we’re storing in our heart containers. When our hearts are clean, empty of offense and hurt, then our speech, behavior, and feelings are pure. What comes out of our mouth begins in our heart.


We can only give away what we possess. If our hearts contain unhealed hurts, then that’s what will pour out of us. If our hearts are healed and made whole, purified and undefiled, then we will be used by God to bring healing to others. Healed hearts heal hearts.

Make it a priority to guard your heart. One way to do this is by being aware of what you let into your heart. It’s being alert regarding the schemes of the enemy, always having our eyes and ears open to discern deception and what is not from the Lord. Be watchful of your heart, process your offenses and loss, and out from you, will flow springs of living water.


“By praying for our enemies, we guard our own heart so that we do not become like them.”

Mark Driscoll


Relevant Reflections:

  1. Based on your current reactions and responses, what does your heart contain?

  2. How can you guard your heart?

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