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Bible words explained: “Keep your heart with all diligence”
VIDEO: In the first episode of our new series of Bible quote animations, we focus in on the verse in Proverbs 4:23.
The heart is mentioned hundreds of times in the Bible, but what is our heart? How can we guard our heart, and keep it pure? And what do we do if our heart has already become impure? In this concept study you’ll get the answers to these questions–we explain what the heart actually is, and how you can “keep your heart” as it is written in Proverbs 4:23.
Audio Transcript: “Keep your heart with all diligence”
The heart’s mentioned hundreds of times in the Bible, and in Biblical times it was thought to be the place where you have your feelings and your thoughts, your decisions, your intentions. It’s almost like a control center: the place where you make choices.
So, when you read about the heart in the Bible, it’s really about you.
You’ve also got your conscience, and that tells you what’s right and wrong. But it’s in your heart that you decide on how to act on that information.
This comes out in your words and actions.
We’re all born with pure, clean hearts. Your heart becomes impure when you willfully sin, again and again. That is, that you do what you know is wrong, again and again, withoutand without feeling sorry about it. It can be things like dishonesty or envy, or disobedience, holding a grudge … And you don’t want to stop doing it. Then you’ve got a hardened heart and it becomes impure. It closes itself to God.
But when you decide to give up living for sin and instead live for God, then you get a clean heart, and then you have to keep it pure. It isn’t temptation that makes your heart impure, and neither a single “fall.” If you feel sorry about your sin, you repent, and you make up your mind you’re not going to do it again – and that shows that your heart is soft and pure, and it’s open for God.
In Proverbs 4:23, it says, “Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life.” And the issues of life, that’s your actions, your reactions, your words, your relationship to God, and so on. These can be pure or impure, depending on the condition of your heart, and the decisions that you’ve made there. These can be influenced by your attitude, intentions, resolve, and the way you feel about things – in your heart.
It’s like Jesus says in Luke 6:45: “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.”
And that’s why it says in Proverbs, “keep your heart,” because your life becomes like your heart is!
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Explore some more of our “Bible words explained” series in the Bible animation videos below.
Bible words explained: “Put off ” and “Put on the new man”
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®, unless otherwise specified. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.