Take It Up With Tiffany's
Here's how I remember that verse in Proverbs 4:23 going: "Above all else guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life."
Here's what I got from that verse: The heart is important. Yay! All the blood comes from it so I guess that's the well. Yay! Guard that mess maybe. Yay! I didn't like to think about that verse. On Saturday's for fun I like to go out and throw my heart at moving targets. (Hahaha. But seriously.) I am a loving person. I just am. Come here. Yes you. Anybody. I'll take you, and love you, and feed you dinner and bleach your bathroom for you. I totally will. So. I avoid thinking about that verse. Because if I really think about it, I might have to act on it, and I cannot possibly guard my heart when I am hugging or holding or bandaging or blessing everyone else's and after all, I'm fine. I'm absolutely fine. And I'm giving. God says to give. I'm a giver. Yay!
The other day, I read that verse in a different translation, and I really understood what it meant when it says your heart is "the wellspring of life." It means:
It determines the course of your life.
It is the source of life.
Everything you do flows from it.
Guard your heart because everything else comes from that. The condition of your heart determines the quality of your life, the excellence of your work, the influence you have on others - everything. else. is. impacted. by what's going on in your heart.
This is why. This is why. This is why people quote this all of the time. It's not because it's cute. It's not because it's catchy. It's because it's true.
(If you're happily married at the moment you are not obligated to continue reading. You are welcome to, but you don't have to.)
Here's a word for my single people out there in internet land: Disable your cell tower's ability to pick up mixed signals. I mean it. Get into your settings, and disable it right now and if you are not able to do that, power off completely.
I know how it is. The "what if's" and the "wait for its" and the "this could mean one of three things" two a.m. consultations with your friends. You disengage from that right. now. I promise you it IS effecting everything else in your life.
Have y'all ever seen pictures of or visited that jewelry store, Tiffany's? It's not like a Dollar Store where you could probably swipe five or six aisles of merchandise onto the floor without notice. Everything is watched, everything is guarded, and frankly, unless you can afford that store you're probably not in there in the first place. You can witness the beauty of items. You can appreciate their value. And under careful supervision, if you're actually seriously thinking about a purchase, someone will remove a piece from a display case for you to take a closer look. Tiffany's is not like other stores.
At other stores the policy is "You break it, you buy it." At Tiffany's I imagine, you have to buy it to break it.
Do you get it? How you might be keeping expensive merchandise on the bottom shelf of a Dollar Store? How maybe no-one is appreciating the priceless value of what you have to offer because you don't yourself?
My friend Deandra watched a clip called "Things Christian Guys Say" once, and they kept sliding it in there "I just really want to guard her heart." It made Deandra nuts, she said we'd never heard that. She was right. We hadn't. We didn't know any guys who walked around saying "I want to guard her heart" because guarding someone else's heart is not your job.
It's your job to be intentional in dating or any interaction with the opposite sex - yes. It's your job to hold a heart that is handed to you with caution and honor it - yes. It's your job to be honest with the people you're in close relationship with even if it hurts or humiliates you - yes. But I don't read anywhere that it is someone else's job to guard your heart. Sure, I wish a person or two had been more careful with mine, but that was not their job.
Guarding my heart is my job.
Guarding your heart is your job, and if you fail to do it, everything else will be affected.
This hasn't been a post for everyone, but I know that it is timely and important for one or two. So if the one or two is you, close out of this blog and get real with yourself about the state of your heart, and what needs to happen. Invite God into the conversation, ask Him to lead the process. Then? You do what you need to do. Change what you need to change. Block who you need to block. It might be hard, it might hurt, but honey in the long run I promise you it will pay off. It will pay off in every single area.
And when the complaints come? (And they will come.) Just tell them to take it up with Tiffany's. "Every kiss begins with Kaye." (Or at least a "C" for "commitment." Come on y'all.)
Maybe your jewelry store metaphors will be mixed, but you'll have all your signals straight, guaranteed.
(That just seemed appropriate...)