Can I Come In?

Little five year old boys don’t usually want to play with girls putting on makeup – unless it is boring because there are no other boys around. That changes everything. At least it did for Jude, my grandson. My four granddaughters had locked themselves in the... read more

My Mother’s Christmas Wish

Devotion: When I was a little girl, the number one question I asked all my family before December 25th was “What do you want for Christmas?” I asked my sisters and my brother, my mother and my father. It was a huge question for me because my funds were limited to a small... read more

Guard Your Heart

“Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.” Proverbs 4:23 (NIV)

It seemed quite funny to me as a little girl to hear my grandparents talk about what had happened to our minister in our small town. They felt badly for him but, as a10-year old girl, I could only giggle as they described the situation.
Pastor Sanders was walking down the sidewalk in town and noticed several people looking at him rather strangely. He started to wonder if his whistling was off-key as he leisurely strolled past stores. That is, until a woman stopped him and asked, “Pastor, when you whistle, is it usually the tune from a beer commercial?”
Mortified, he realized that that was exactly what he had been doing! He loved listening to music as he drove to visit sick or hospitalized people in the congregation. Evidently that commercial came on a lot and it had stuck in his mind without his realizing it.
I had forgotten that incident until many years later when my husband found himself in a similar situation. He had a new boss at work and the man had a colorful vocabulary. I don’t believe there was a single word that we would have spanked our children for saying that he didn’t say. Often. And loudly. No matter where he was or who was there.
But since our kids were not around him, we felt that they would be protected from his speech. That all changed one evening at supper.
The conversation was on t-ball and batting when our son joked about the games and we began to laugh. My husband made a comment that had not one or two but several of the colorful words his boss often used.
It took him just a few seconds to realize that all laughing had suddenly ceased and all eyes were on him. As he looked up from his meal, three children with mouths wide open in unison exclaimed “Dad!” in shock!
“What? What’s the matter?” he asked. Instantly our youngest daughter replied “Dad, you just said . . .” and repeated his comments verbatim.
Now it was his turn to be in shock. He had no idea that he had unintentionally allowed the vocabulary of his boss to become part of his vocabulary.
It was at that exact moment that I remembered our minister years before and what had happened to him. And it was no longer funny.
Today’s Key Scripture from Proverbs 4:23 is short but full of important truth. As Christians our hearts belong to the Lord and we must guard them closely in a world in complete opposition to the Christian walk.  
There will always be conversations and actions that do not reflect Jesus. We must be careful to keep our minds focused on Christ and turn away anything that does not reflect Him.
My husband quickly apologized to our children and to me. And from that moment on he made a conscious effort to replace what his boss said with uplifting and positive words. Guard your heart, my friend; guard your heart!

Father, I do not want to say or do anything that does not call attention to you in a positive way. Please guard my heart. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Have you ever made a comment that was totally out of character for you and then realized what you had just said? Where did that comment come from?

If you work with someone with speech totally opposite to your Christian walk, pray for that person daily and ask the Lord for an opportunity to speak to them in love.

Ask the Holy Spirit to nudge you every single time you start to say something that would not be a good example of speaking with the heart of Christ.

Proverbs 4:23 (NIV) “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.”

Matthew 15:11 (NIV) “What goes into a man’s mouth does not make him ‘unclean,’ but what comes out of his mouth, that is what makes him ‘unclean.’”

Romans 12:2 (NIV) “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

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Copyright 2013  Nancy E. Hughes