You’ve likely heard it said you need to guard your heart and mind. After all, everything you do flows from it. But what does this mean? And how do you guard your heart and mind?
What Does It Mean to Guard Your Heart and Mind?
The word “heart” is found in scripture more than 800 times. To the ancient Israelites, the heart wasn’t thought to be a part of the body. Instead, it was the seat of emotions, thoughts, and a place within a person that gave physical life. It molded and motivated a person. They thought of the heart and mind working together, almost as one.
Therefore, when you guard your heart and mind, you actively monitor what goes in because eventually, it will spill out. What the heart and mind are focused on, there the body will go.
Many things compete for your attention and time—from the media to marriage. Jesus said, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:21). Your heart is tied to what you treasure. To Jesus’ point, your actions reflect what is in your heart.
The good news is He always invites you to draw closer to Him so that He can give you desires that not only align with His heart but will give you abundant life. When you guard your heart and mind against distractions designed to pull you away from God, it opens up gates for His love and purpose to come in.
This is what Proverb 23:7 refers to…
- “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.”
How you think—what you set your heart and mind on—is reflected in your actions.
What Are the Benefits of Guarding Your Heart and Mind?
As the Bible says, we reap what we sow. When you guard your heart and mind, you are also sowing seeds of protection. Allow the love of God in, and trust Him to be your comfort and guide. Trusting Him comes with a promise.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.”—Proverbs 3:5-6 (emphasis added)
Fear and doubt can’t find a way in when you guard your heart and mind. You become more confident, not in your abilities, but in God’s ability to work through you. His peace surrounds you, restoring and replenishing the places within your soul that are dry.
- Consider this: Spend time meditating and thinking about God’s Word being written on your heart. Pray Psalm 19:14, “Let the words of my mouth and the mediation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer.”
When you guard your heart and mind, you will find your relationships will deepen. Not only will your relationship with Jesus grow, so will your relationship with others. In 1 John 4:19, it is written, “We love because He first loved us.” Your relationships grow as you guard your heart and mind because it is His love within you that spills over and out to others.
- Consider this: Humbly coming before the Lord and loving Him with your whole heart frees you to love others well. Ask Jesus to reveal more to you about growing your relationship with others through Him, according to His words in Matthew 22:7-39.
Want to be encouraged to grow in your relationship with Jesus and others? Join a Biblical community that will walk with you, guiding you on how to guard your heart and mind.
What Is at Risk When You Don’t Guard Your Heart and Mind?
As you can see, there are many benefits to guarding your heart and mind. There is also a cost to not guarding your heart and mind…
When you allow the world to penetrate your thoughts above the Spirit, your fruit is…
- Becoming more pessimistic
- Struggling to focus on what God is doing
- Being consumed with hopelessness
- Feeling doubtful, fearful, and anxious
The reality is something will fill your heart and mind. The more aware you are of the battle, the more you will want to guard your heart and mind against the enemy's weapons that are designed to steal, kill, and destroy your joy.
So then, how do you guard your heart and mind?
5 Ways to Guard Your Heart and Mind
It’s important to know that guarding your heart and mind is about coming under the protection of Christ. It is in Him—His power, peace, and righteousness—you will find protection. Furthermore, coming under His protection also means you will grow and mature in your faith.
- Protect Your Eyes
Have you ever seen something startling and quickly cover your eyes? When you protect your eyes spiritually, you keep a door closed that the enemy wants to walk through. While you can’t protect your eyes from every startling sight, you can be aware and respond by closing the door immediately if something is seen.
For example, when you watch T.V. or look at social media, ask the Lord to make you keenly aware of images that open doors and allow the enemy to get a foothold. Jesus said, “The lamp of the body is the eye, if your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness” (Matthew 6:22-23).
- Protect Your Ears
Similar to seeing something startling, when you hear a loud noise, your instinct is to cover your ears. This is because God has designed you to guard this gate to your heart and mind. Protecting your ears means defending against what you hear: music, media, and gossip in conversations. Furthermore, according to Romans 10:17, “… faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”
A way to guard your heart and mind is to protect against noises that lead to a path of sin and to incline your ear to the voice of God. You do this by getting into His Word, filtering all you hear through His truth. “He who has ears, let him hear!”—Matthew 11:15
- Pray and Store Up God’s Word
Isaiah 26:3 says, “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.” When you store up God’s Word in your heart, the Spirit will remind you of it in your time of need and guard your mind.
Then, you can lift up praises, speaking God’s Word, which has been stored in your heart. You can tell of His saving power and wonderful works.
When Jesus was in the wilderness, what did He do when He was tempted? He spoke God’s Word. This is why Ephesians 6 references the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. God gives you a weapon to wield in spiritual warfare to cut down any lies that try to creep into your heart and mind. Check out the verses below, pray, and store up God’s Word in your heart.
- Purpose in Your Heart
Daniel 1:8 says, “But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself…” Another way to guard your heart and mind is to “purpose in your heart” like Daniel. In other words, before a temptation or situation arises, decide to lean into God’s truth and stand for Biblical morality.
Daniel likely went through many circumstances and hours of studying and meditating on God's Word to develop the kind of character required to stand firm in his faith in Babylonian culture. You can do the same. Allow God to mold you spiritually and sanctify you in challenging circumstances.
- Plug into Community
God created us to live in community. The Bible says iron sharpens iron. We are to bear each other’s burdens by praying and encouraging one another. We can only do this according to God’s design when we’re in Biblical community.
Getting plugged into a community of believers protects your heart and mind. In a community, someone is there to pray with and for you, hold you up, guide and correct, and walk this faith journey with you.
10 Bible Verses About Guarding Your Heart and Mind
Use these verses to remind you of God’s power to change and guard your heart and mind through Christ.
- “My son, give attention to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. Do not let them depart from your eyes; keep them in the midst of your heart; for they are life to those who find them, and health to all their flesh. Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life.”—Proverbs 4:20-23
- “Keep you heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life… Let your eyes look straight ahead, and your eyelids look right before you.”—Proverbs 4:23, 25
- “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.”—Luke 6:45
- “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.”—Psalm 51:10
- “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”—Philippians 4:6-7
- “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?”—Jeremiah 17:9
- “Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart.”—Psalm 37:4
- “For if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things. Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence toward God.”—1 John 3:20-21
- “Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence toward God.”—2 Thessalonians 3:3
- “How can a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed according to Your word. With my whole heart I have sought You; Oh, let me not wander from your commandments! Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against you.”—Psalm 119:9-11
What you see, hear, meditate on, and think about will come out in words and actions. God tells you to guard your heart and mind in Jesus. This not only closes the door to the enemy's attempt to influence your life but also allows God's Word, like a seed planted within, to flourish.
Guarding your heart and mind ultimately produces good fruit in your life that you can then share with others.