Soul Care: Guarding Your Heart

Soul Care: Guarding Your Heart (Part II)

“Above all else, guard your heart with all vigilance,
for it is the wellspring of life out of which everything flows.” Proverbs 4:23IMG_7066

Everywhere I’ve been lately I keep hearing Justin Bieber’s song about “loving yourself.” My first thought was this is a relevant message for us all. It resonates with my current focus on soul care and the value of loving yourself. But what is Justin actually singing about? How many times have you listened to music even enjoyed the song and not even been consciously aware of the actual message? So I looked up the lyrics—sorry to say “I was disappointed.”

We definitely need a bold and courageous message to love ourselves. We get it from Jesus…

“Do this and you will live”—Jesus

What was Jesus referring to when he said this to the religious scholar and expert of the law? He was responding to his question: “What must I do to get eternal life? Jesus clearly taught that we need to love God first so that we are filled with His love, then we can love others as we love ourselves. Jesus said it and I believe in His message. The central message of the Bible is all about love: both receiving and giving from God’s overflow.

Each one of us has a responsibility to love by taking care of ourselves first. I am not implying we become selfish nor I am saying we don’t do for others. What I am talking about is way beyond the Belieber’s current hit. Quite simply we need to practice love God’s way. We need to breathe to live and love ourselves to really love well. For life preservation, it comes back to putting on your oxygen mask first before you try to help someone else.

Let’s breathe deep as we consider several ways to guard our hearts.


“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it” NIV

1. The Heart Shield for personal wellness. Prioritize your values and make best choices daily. First focus on your overall health: what you choose to eat and drink; how you move and rest and much more for optimal well being. Seriously consider are you at your optimal well being—are you living a balanced life?

How satisfied are you with your life?
You say you don’t really indulge in bad habits but you feel lousy when you settle for less.
You say you want to maintain a healthy weight but you can’t seem to resist… you are either under or over nourished. Are you eating too much or not enough of the right food/drink choices?
You say you really need a break but you keep taking on more requests, projects, tasks or work.
You say you really want to exercise more but somehow you just aren’t consistent.
You are sleep deprived…for whatever reasons just can’t seem to get enough quality rest.
You know you are stressed but it is due to people or things out of your control.
On a scale of one to ten how are you? _____

“Start each day with a commitment for your own personal best
and follow through, for nobody else can do it for you.”

“Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life. (NKJV)

Even if we desire to follow God’s commandment to love; we must guard our hearts and love one another with boundaries. “We must acknowledge that we are included in the ‘Love One Another.” ― Peggi Speers

2. The Heart Shield for Healthy Relationships. We all need good positive people in our lives—whether it is family or friends. We are designed to be connected in community to share life together. To love ourselves we need boundaries.

Uphold a shield of strong healthy BOUNDARIES for all your relationships. No matter how good a person you are; the reality is there are high maintenance people—whether your boss, co-worker, a family member or friend. Remember broken people hurt, take advantage and wound even unknowingly. Watch out for “unsafe” people who literally drain your reserves. Shield yourself from selfish demands and expectations. Shield yourself from negativity. Remember no one can fully satisfy another’s person’s needs.

How satisfied are you with your relationships?
You feel it is the right thing to do by giving in continually to a significant other?
You say you can’t stand being around a certain person but you keep agreeing to hang out together.
You avoid conflict and seek peace at any cost. Is it there someone in your life that you tolerate who is a bully or control freak? Do you put up with offensive rude behavior?
You say you can’t take any more negativity but you fail to shield yourself and you remain stuck.

The boundary of the powerful “NO.” Saying no guilt free is very freeing.

“You have to decide what your highest priorities are and have the courage, the determination, pleasantly and unapologetically to say ‘no’ to other things and the way to do that is by having a bigger ‘yes’ burning inside. The energy of the best is often lost in the good.”-Stephen Covey

If you never say no, what is your “yes” worth? Don’t let the energy of the ‘good’ keep you from ‘God’s best’. Choose the best and let go of the rest…

Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life. NLT

3. Put on a Shield of Empowerment. What do you really want in life? Do you know what you believe and do you live true to your values? What are you passionate about doing? Are you living your life purpose? Do you have a clear life plan with SMART goals? Don’t allow yourself to get sidetracked by meeting other’s expectations and neglecting your own. Be open to change and do something different. Practice self-compassion: acknowledge you need help, communicate your needs and ask for support.

The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock,
in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
Psalm 18:2

If you aren’t living your best there are alternative options: just make one positive change to get started. Consider a wellness inventory, life satisfaction assessment or lifestyle coaching—contact me for a free consultation.

In summary guard your heart with these shields:
Safeguard your mind and body—value your personal wellness.
Protect yourself from unhealthy relationships—love yourself.
Empower yourself through God’s Spirit—live your heart’s desires and love your life!

Next in Soul Care: Inner Gardening for Your Soul (Part III)

The Most Important Commandment – Luke 10
25 One day an expert in religious law stood up to test Jesus by asking him this question: “Teacher, what should I do to inherit eternal life?”
26 Jesus replied, “What does the law of Moses say? How do you read it?”
27 The man answered, “‘You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind.’ And, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”
28 “Right!” Jesus told him. “Do this and you will live!”

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