Today's Lectionary Text
Above all else, guard your heart,
The heart is very crucial for life—for it is the seat of the government of your life. The quality of your heart determines the quality of your life. The wise teacher, Solomon, said all issues in your life flow from your heart. That means, love, kindness, patience, joy, peace, goodness, faithfulness and self-control flow from the heart. Similarly, hatred, wickedness, all kinds of filthiness, rancor, divisiveness, fighting, backbiting, cheating, etc. flow from the heart. Wow! Do you see how crucial your heart is? The breakdown of families and friendships, institutions, and communities start from the heart of people. The flourishing of relationships and communities also start from the heart.
Jesus recognized the role of the heart in life when he said, “it is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but it is what comes out of the mouth that defiles,” and, “for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” Matthew 15:11; 12:34
The quality of your heart is so important, that God says to you—guard it. It is important to guard your heart, because it can be corrupted and be filled with the wrong content. As you engage in the world, you pick up contents—consciously or unconsciously. Your heart is constantly being bombarded with so much stuff. These contents enter your heart through your eye and ear gates. When you expose yourself to unhealthy contents habitually, your heart and mind get filled and polluted. Soon, you realize your actions are messing up. On the internet, the news and other sources of information, you are always presented with all sorts of good and bad contents. It is your job, as a child of God, to discern which of them is good for your heart.
I encourage you to put your filters on. Discern what content would be toxic or healthy for the growth of your relationship with Christ and others. People’s lives have taken the wrong path, because they fed their hearts with the wrong content. Associate yourself with the right kind of people, who will edify your life with wisdom and grace. Study the Word of God to feed your heart with divine inspiration. Join other Christians in worship and in small groups to share fellowship in the Holy Spirit. Always do something to keep your heart healthy and positive, for it is the wellspring of your life.
-Rev. Emmanuel Afful
Aldersgate UMC Wichita
Prayer for Reflection
Holy Spirit, help me discern the things that make my heart good or bad, and grant me the strength to get rid of the toxins in my heart. Create in me a clean heart and renew a right and steadfast spirit in me.
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