Gardening Your Heart
By Kaitlin Garrison
“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” Proverbs 4:23 [NIV]
I don’t know about you, but for most of my life, I’ve equated guarding my heart with building a thick, unbreakable cement wall around it. The phrase ‘guard your heart’ was always presented to me with a connotation of protecting my heart with utmost security. So I did. I built mighty, impenetrable barricades made of restraint, fear and caution. If this was such ‘wise’ advice, then why did I have so many unhealthy barriers in my relationships? How was anyone supposed to get to know me behind all of these cement walls?
One day as I was reading this verse, God revealed to me that guarding my heart was less about building protective fortresses and more about gardening.
Within the bounds of our hearts, God grows trees of righteousness, fruits of His Spirit and plants all kinds of seeds meant to flourish and produce lasting fruit. However, just as there are pesky rabbits that sneak into a garden to nibble at the fruit, foxes that destroy the new sprouts, and weeds that choke out the plants—there is the same opposition trying to demolish what God is planting in our hearts:
•Weeds of bitterness, envy, and jealousy that choke out plants of contentment in Christ.
•Discouragement, like a fox, that tramples on the newly sprouted pods of peace.
•Sinful habits, like rabbits, that eat away at the fruits of righteousness–causing them to rot.
When we allow intruders to take control of our hearts, our actions will surely reflect it. –Tweet this!
When we allow those ‘intruders’ to take control of our hearts, our actions will surely reflect that. Similarly, when our garden is overflowing with fruits of the Spirit, our actions will more and more reflect those of Christ.
To guard our hearts is to garden them.
We must pluck those weeds by the power of His Spirit and fight off invaders with the truth of God’s Word. We are to be alert and ready to protect what God is planting. Instead of “keeping others out” with a cement wall- Invite them to watch what God is doing in the Garden of your Heart.
“God, thank you for producing in me fruits of righteousness and characteristics of Your Son that only You can plant. Open my eyes today to see the things that are attempting to tear down what You are growing. Help me to garden my heart with all vigilance, wisdom and tender care. May my heart be a rich soil for the seeds You are planting. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.”
Kaitlin Garrison is a wife to a youth pastor and a mom of two rambunctious puppies. She is a lover of writing, singing, and a good chat over coffee on the porch. She is passionate about investing in the next generation of women to follow Christ with their lives. You can find Kaitlin over at the Barefoot Blog and on Instagram.
Thank you joining us today. I hope you were encouraged by Kaitlin’s words to ‘guard’en your heart! ~Kelly Basham
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