Anxiety was my meatloaf of emotions for many years. My comfort zone was anxious thoughts. My heart floated from one height of worry to another extreme of doubt. Each baseball season would end with questions about if we would get another contract and start with can we keep this contract. My eyes were continually seeking new information on team wins and losses, player moves, and attendance numbers. Some stats indicated success, others not so much. My emotions rode a never-ending track of ups and downs.
Then my exuberant personality couldn’t hold in what I thought my heart was telling me. I began to complain, judge, condemn, and scold others. My husband was the brunt of my explosion of anxious thoughts, my children the brunt of pent up anger and frustration.
Baseball isn’t the only source of worry and anxiety.
Family dynamics add another wing to the stress.
Raising kids creates worry.
Loneliness keeps us discouraged.
Failing to do all the things sets us back into a rhythm of emotional highs and lows. A new diagnosis we didn’t see coming.
Proverbs 4 shows us the epicenter of our deepest trust, commitment, and love. Everything flows from our hearts. When our heart loves and trusts something, our mind finds the emotion to attach to it; our will finds a way to do it.
When our hearts rely on circumstances, information, and opinions other than God’s desires, we allow our minds to hunt new facts to release our emotions. Our hearts are the hub of our lives. If we stare long enough at something, it captures our hearts and feeds our imagination. When we use life-taking words about someone, it sours our hearts toward them. When our feet go in a direction, our imagination guides us; we get off the path the Lord desires us to be.
How do you guard your heart to stay in line with Jesus?
Watch your words. Choose to keep your words life-giving. Words that build others up, not tear them down. Life-giving words from our mouth and our keyboards.
Look straight ahead. Keep your eyes on Jesus. He is already where we are going. He knows what’s next. He knows. He is with you through it all. Keep your gaze on Him.
Be wise. Choose your steps wisely. Be careful not to go down a rabbit hole that is away from the path Jesus wants to keep you on.
Is there some way you are failing to guard your heart right now? Are there things you are seeing or doing that may be moving your heart away from God?