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In Proverbs 4:23 we are told how important it is to keep or guard our hearts. I decided to look at the original Hebrew meaning for some of the words. (For this post I’m reading KJV, but I see no reason not to use a different translation. Since we’re looking at the original language in this post anyway, we’re going to get the same idea either way.)

The word for “keep” or “guard” in the original means to guard, to protect, or to maintain.

The word for “heart” in the original can mean the physical heart, but is often used figuratively to mean the feelings, the will, and the intellect.

The word for “diligence” (translated “above all else” in some translations) in the original implies the idea of a guard, or a posted guard. Its related word carries the idea of fencing something in to protect it and to attend to it.

Looking at the rest of the verse, we see that what is in your heart will flow out of it. There are natural consequences for guarding and not guarding yourself. You will behave based on what you’ve let into your heart and mind.

In summary, keep a good fence around your heart and mind. Make sure you guard the gate. Because what you let in will stir some things up and spill right back out into the rest of your life.

The Heart of the Matter
What the Heart Wants
Heart Protection
Detailing the Heart and Mind
Letting and Keeping
The Mind as a House