I am a sucker for journals. When I decided to really surrender my life to be lived out for God, my mom gave me a journal as a gift. I didn't think much of it but over the years I began to write and write. Five years later, and I am embarrassed by the amount of journals I have collected. As I was looking back on one of my old journals this morning, I found an entry from May 17th, 2014...
"Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life"
"What is found in your heart will eventually show up in your everyday life. Whatever is inside will eventually find its way out for all to see. We need to monitor what we allow to shape our hearts. Sinful things that we allow in our lives can damage and impact the relationships we have with others.
It is important to learn how to have self-control with your thoughts, words, disposition, and outlook, as it will impact your attitude and how you handle circumstances. Whether you will have peace or fall apart in a stressful situation. Be sure to have compassion and understanding- not judgment and arrogance.
Ultimately, we need to have Godly thoughts. This comes by spending time in God's word and presence. Seek the Holy Spirit to guide you.
Lord, I want my heart to be filled with thoughts and desires that are from you. Help me to spend time in your presence and fix my focus upon you. I want my heart to change so that it honors you and impacts the rest of the days of my life for good."
The scripture I currently have saved as my phone's background is Psalms 19:14, "May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you O Lord, my rock & my redeemer." it is so fitting for that journal entry years ago.
Though my entry years ago focused on how important it is to recognize what we allow to impact our heart for it impacts our lives and the lives around us, the one thing I would tack on is this: self-control should be done with our eyes fixated on Christ not fixated soley on the "dos and don'ts". Guarding our heart should not be done out of our own striving but as a delightful response to what He has done for us. As we come to the Lord and ask for His strength and guidance, self-control over our heart will be done out of true worship.