As I promised, here is my continuation of the part 1 of Guarding our Hearts. As my focus has been on the family relations, the Lord showed me something during the period when I was seeking His face in quietness. I took a little break from writing as a lot of sad things were happening to people close to me for example a friend losing a loved one in death. These things made me realize that while guarding our hearts is important in life, we also need to open our hearts to loving, caring and taking it easy and allowing life to proceed as God Almighty planned it for us. A loss of a loved one is not an easy thing. I saw how shuttered my family friends were at the loss of their beloved daughter. Nothing can replace her irrespective of the fact that the natural disaster struck unexpectedly and many other families lost their valuable assets and dear family members too during the big storm in two of the provinces in my country South Africa few weeks ago. These storms came as a suprise amidst the weather warnings that we received through the media. All these aftermaths were unexpected and nothing could have been done to prevent them but God alone.

The question could be how do we guard our hearts when something happens in our families unexpectedly? How do we not get shocked or surprised when these things hit us? Is it possible that we would not be shocked? I was shocked when I received the sad news of the passing on of this young woman. I could not believe it. I asked God why would this beautiful young soul go to be with Him so early in her life? I am sure God was taken aback by my surprise. While I understood that things like these come unexpectedly just as a thief comes at night to steal, that we would not know God’s timing for things in our lives, still I was troubled and saddened by this. I felt it was too soon. I even forgot that we say ‘God’s timing is perfect’. I still struggled with the timing issue. Could I have been stronger? No! And it is not possible to be strong when the unexpected hit us when we least expect such.

In this part of the blog I am expanding on the proposed ways on guarding your heart as I briefly mentioned in the previous blog. I will expand and focus on two of the sacrificing component for now as I realized that this topic cannot be rushed or too simplified. The rest I will expand on in the next part 3, 4 and 5 of guarding your heart.

The first two I am expanding on are:

1. Be not conformed to this world.

Romans 12:2 says ‘And be not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God’.

There are many things happening to us and around us as people. None of us can choose to have blind eyes, deaf ears, hard feelings, and don’t care attitude when we are not born this way. We know that we were created in the image of God, fearfully and wonderfully made. Our eyes will see the things that are right and wrong, yet we can chose to not be conformed to worldly things that do not add value to our lives. Can we pretend that we do not see the wrong things happening to us and around us? Shall we ignore what we see and refuse to acknowledge that we see them? This is a difficult call. To avoid dealing with too many things in this section, I would like to choose one example of the things we see in us or around us. I am sure you have many other examples that you can share with us too. Please do share and let us learn from each other. Below is my example.

When I graduated with my PhD from Brandeis University in 1996, I returned home to our newly found democratic country South Africa. I was extremely excited because I wanted to make a contribution from my acquired knowledge on social and economic policy development. In the first few months I could not find a job as I was told I am over-qualified. Because I wanted to make a contribution in policy development, I accepted a junior position. A lot of my friends criticized me for this because they were occupying very senior positions with less qualifications than mine. To me, their perspective did not matter and their frequent criticism strengthened my resolve to do my best to give back to my country. Two years  later, God being God, I was promoted to Chief Director, later on as years went by I moved up in ranks to where I am today – executive chairperson of a multinational private company. To God alone be the glory!

By not conforming to the things of this world, I chose not to listen to what people were saying to me. I ignored them when they were showing me their salary slips, cars and homes. I saw the way they dressed and lived their lives and I was happy for them but I knew my time will come and that will be in God’s perfect timing. I continued to renew my mind – telling myself that in the perfect will of God my superiors will see my commitment, passion and can-do attitude and will recognize me for that. Not that it was my plan to work hard so I can be recognized, No! I worked for the recognition of my Master – God Almighty. I did everything to glorify Him alone. My mind was renewed to serve Him in everything I did then and still do now. I remembered that all that is good and acceptable and perfect is what glorifies God.

What have you done in sacrificing things in your life through renewing your mind so that you are not conformed to this world? Please reflect and share your testimonies with us.

2.  A good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good.

Luke 6:45 says ‘A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; …: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.’

Using the same example of my story above, I can share that during the time when criticisms were leveled against me when I took the junior post, one thing the Lord reminded me was to guard my heart. I guarded my heart by not being upset by the criticisms. I used to laugh at them because my senior colleagues used to be so stressed when delivery time came from the superiors. I literally did not take offense I actually worked with them to ensure we deliver quality work. Sometimes I would call them ‘big-boss’ and they would laugh too. The Lord also taught me that out of the good treasure of my heart cometh good. I recalled that ‘death and life are in the power of the tongue’. So I restrained myself from speaking any negativity about my life. I remember telling the one colleague that one day God is going to elevate me where He wants me to make a bigger contribution. Sometimes I would joke with my colleagues that they must be careful as one day I will be their boss. Indeed out of the abundance of my heart my mouth speaketh. So it was…glory to Yeshua!

What are you treasuring in your heart? What are you speaking of yourself and others? Please share with us the abundance of your heart.

Thank you for reading this blog. What goes into your mind when you read this. How do you guard your heart? Please continue visiting my blog as the next and following three blogs will conclude on this important topic – Guarding  our Hearts. Continue to guard your heart in Jesus name!

snowy signature

Pin It on Pinterest