He fell out of the nest a little early. I watched the baby mockingbird making his way across the yard. He went from one spot to the next, trying to stay safe. Mama bird would bring him food, and attack intruders (me and my husband) who got too close. She also screeched loudly when baby was headed in the wrong direction – toward potential danger.
I’ve heard those loud warnings in my life recently. Like a mama bird warning and protecting her chick, I felt the Holy Spirit whisper into my soul: Watch out! You’re getting into dangerous territory!
My heart attitude was wrong, and I wasn’t sure how to correct it.
Cynical, that’s what I had become. Distrustful of human sincerity. Contemptuous and mocking. That’s where I was. Thankfully, God was not going to let me stay there. His warnings pierced my heart. Surely that’s what a mama bird’s peck on the head feels like, when you’re too close to her baby. It’s sharp, stings and causes me to pause and examine my thoughts and feelings.
Guard your heart above all else, for it is the source of life. Proverbs 4:23 (CSB)
I needed to guard my heart. It had been so very easy for me to slide down the slippery slope to an attitude of anger and contempt. These are not from God, and did not honor Him.
Often, we don’t even realize our thoughts and behaviors are dipping into the danger zone. It’s gradual and hardly noticeable. Until it takes over our lives, and everyone notices!
We need to guard our hearts above all else. Above everything. It’s that important. When you get that holy warning that you need to make a course correction, listen to it…above all else!
How can we guard our hearts? Philippians 4:6 tells us not to worry, pray and be thankful. Then
“…the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:7 CSB
But, how do we keep God’s peace? The next verse tells us. Whatever is just, pure, lovely, commendable, morally excellent or praiseworthy, dwell on these things.
I had not done this. Oh, I was prayerful and thankful. But I didn’t stay there. I’d gotten sucked into social media “news” and all the comments, critiques and infighting that came with it.
Have you been there lately? None of that stuff is pure and lovely. I had to stop reading, liking and commenting, and begin pondering on God’s truth and beauty. Maybe you do, too?
Here’s the thing, though. It’s not a one and done deal. We must continue dwelling on the things of God.
The most important piece of advice from this passage is in verse nine: Do what you have learned. Guard your heart; keep putting into practice all that you have learned; model it in the way you live.
Keep on doing what you have learned from God’s truth. Keep dwelling on those things that are pure and lovely. Then His peace will guard your heart and keep it out of the Danger Zone.
I need that kind of peace today, don’t you?
Grace be with you,