"Watch over your heart with all diligence,
For from it flow the springs of life." Proverbs 4:23
Something God has been teaching me lately is the importance of watching over my heart, paying attention to my thoughts, desires, and affections. I think that is something that is so often overlooked, considered unimportant or hopeless. Practically from infancy, the world tells us to "follow your heart." In movies, if a character "falls in love," he has no choice but to act on his feelings, unless he wants to spend the rest of his life in misery and regret. When a person faces a difficult decision, someone usually asks him, "what does your heart tell you?" The world doesn't realize that the human heart is corrupt and full of sin - it will only lead us to death unless we allow it to be led by God's truth. I should not follow my heart until it is in line with God's heart. He can give me His thoughts, desires, and affections, but only if I first lead my heart towards Him.
"We may be inclined to believe that our feelings are caused by life's circumstances or by our body chemistry. Undoubtedly, these things do affect us. However, such factors are not the source of sinful feelings. As we encounter life, our emotions are primarily determined by what is in our hearts. Sinful feelings reveal a sinful heart.....Self-control is what we need to guard our hearts against sin. And a well-kept heart will beget joyful feelings - the kind of feelings that God intends for us to have." ~Carolyn Mahaney, Feminine Appeal