Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life. (Proverbs 4:23)
Metaphorically speaking, the heart is the essence of our being, emotions, and intelligence. It is the storehouse of our deepest emotions and beliefs. The heart is the throne of our conscience and imagination. To guard it we need the strength of wisdom. The prophet Jeremiah warns, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?”(1) He gives the answer in the following verse, “I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind, even to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings.”(2)
The key to keeping your heart is to respond with patience. Since the heart is a wellspring of emotions, its first reaction may not be filled with all of its wisdom, for we wear our emotions on the surface of the heart. Intelligence and conscience are the deep issues of the heart. To keep our hearts, patience must be its first line of defense.