Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life. Put away from thee a forward mouth, and perverse lips put far from thee. Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee. Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy days be established.
From our hearts flows who we really are.
Christ in his ministerial time on earth taught us that who we are inside is who we really are. The Pharisees and teachers of that time were consumed with outward acts and with wanting to determine who people were primarily by their outward compliance with the law. And while it is good to act the right way, it is also necessary to make sure that those actions are based on who we really are.
The proverbist, as he advises his son in this passage, directs him to think upon his heart. The word “heart” here refers to “the inner man”. To the place where actions, thoughts, and words are born. According to how our heart is, we will act and be.
So the writer invites us to keep our hearts. What is inside determines what man is, but what is outside can contaminate the heart and pervert the person. So the father tells his son to be careful with three things: the communication he receives and gives, with what he looks at, and with the places he visits.
The writer knew that if the son was to have a pure heart and therefore a pure life, he needed to take care of these three areas of his life. It is impossible for us to have a preserved heart towards God if we purposely position ourselves in places that do not help us to keep what enters our heart.
Think about your communication, what you watch, and where you go. Are they Christ-honoring? Let us take care of our hearts understanding that what we are flows as much from a clean heart as it does from a dirty one.