Verse of the Day

Today's Verse

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

Proverbs 4:23 NLT


I’ve often heard people greet me and ask, “How’s life treating you today?” Greeting someone this way may sound cool, but it assumes that you are a victim of “life.” But God’s Word says our own heart determines the course of our lives. Our own heart got us to the place we are in today.

I recently purchased some mangos from the supermarket. They looked beautiful and juicy and very tempting. But when I cut them open at home, much of the fruit was rotten inside. I was so disappointed. Prior to knowing God, I too was like this mango. I was kind, compassionate, and loving on the outside for the world to see, but my heart was rotten. That rottenness was determining the course of my life, leading me toward a life of failure, frustration, anger, pride, jealousy, and depression.

As imperfect and sinful humans, our hearts are influenced by the experiences derived from our five physical senses. Our senses determine our thoughts, and our thoughts influence our hearts. Imagine your heart as a garden. It’s a vibrant and thriving space where the seeds of your thoughts, emotions, and desires are planted. Just like a gardener tends to her garden, God calls us to be diligent guardians of our hearts. Why? Because everything we do, every action and reaction, flows from the condition of our hearts.

Picture yourself driving in heavy traffic, running late for an important meeting. Someone cuts you off, and frustration builds up within you. Your initial reaction might be to honk the horn or mutter some choice words under your breath. In this moment, your heart is exposed, and the condition of your heart influences your response. Guarding your heart means choosing a different response. Instead of letting frustration take root, you could take a deep breath, say a quick prayer, and extend grace to the driver who cut you off. In doing so, you’re tending to the garden of your heart, ensuring that love, patience, and understanding flourish, even in challenging situations.

The verse for today is a call to make guarding our hearts a priority in our daily lives. So, practically, how do we guard our hearts?

1. Stay rooted in God’s Word. Just as a plant in a garden needs water and nourishment to grow, our heart needs the Word of God to thrive. Regularly spending time in Scripture allows it to shape our thoughts which in turn influence our hearts. Not doing so will allow worldly experiences to shape our thoughts and hearts.

2. Choose your influences. Be mindful of what you watch on TV and social media. Be mindful of the people you allow into your life. Be mindful of the words you speak and the songs you listen to.

3. Pray continuously. Develop a habit of talking to God throughout the day. It is like regularly watering your heart’s garden, ensuring it remains fertile and vibrant.

4. Guard your thoughts. Be intentional about the thoughts you entertain. Replace negative and condemning thoughts with positive affirmations rooted in God’s promises.

Guarding your heart is a daily, ongoing process. It’s about making conscious choices that align with God’s principles in the midst of life’s ups and downs. By doing so, you’ll find that the fruits of the Spirit—love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control—flourish in your heart and overflow into every aspect of your life.

As you go about your day, take a moment to reflect on Proverbs 4:23. How can you actively guard your heart in various situations today, ensuring that the love and wisdom of God guide your thoughts and actions?

By Santosh Chandran, Bible League International staff, New Zealand