So… Growing up we were often told that ‘the heart wants what it wants’, and how we are helpless victims to this. We are told love is blind, you cannot help whom you love when you love them. We are told that we cannot help but become the person that we are, based on the varying experiences that life throws at us, and we gobble all this up and therefore we have a perfect excuse, a perfect reason to hate the world and fate and all that jazz when we look around and find that we are very unhappy with what life has “thrown” our way.
Now yes, there is some truth to some of these cliches. It is true that you cannot help whom you feel attracted towards. There is truth in that, you could be walking down the street, minding your own business, and then boom, suddenly your heart is doing summersaults and it’s suddenly now very hot because of a TDH (tall, dark and handsome) guy who just emerged from the corner. I am in no way trying to say this doesn’t happen, because this often does; and no matter how prayed up and fasted up you are, you may find yourself needing to catch your breath for a minute in order to slow down your racing heart and bring your pheromones under control. However, attraction and falling in love with someone are two very different things. Attraction, one seldom can help it, but falling in love with that person is a choice! It is a choice!
How so? You see, when a thought lands in your mind, in this example, thoughts of strong attraction have entered your mind, you have two choices. Either to dwell on these thoughts, that is allow them to take root, e.g change your step so it is just a little sexier than it was before, so he notices you; exchange numbers with the guy, begin to fantasize about him, about your first kiss, your first fight, the proposal, you taking his last name and before you know it you already have named all of your four (imaginary) kids! Or, another option, is to acknowledge the thoughts of attraction that have entered your mind, and then just simply choose not to act on them.
You see the thing is, we are told you cannot help whom you love, but the truth is you really can. You really can! The state of your heart depends on what you feed it. You know how people say you are what you eat? Well, yes, likewise you are what you feed your heart. Now the heart here when referred to in matters of love and well-being is not the physical organ that pumps blood, no, it is the mind. It is your mindset, and you truly are what you feed your mind! Therefore, when you find yourself head over heels in love with someone, it is because if you trace back your steps you shall find that you have fed your mind enough food concerning this person that has then made you decide you are in love. You have daily made choices, consciously or subconsciously that have led you to this place.
Now it is all good if we feed our hearts (read minds) with good thoughts about a person who reciprocates them and eventually turns out to actually be good for us. It is however, a completely different story when we do the same thing about someone who truly turns out to be poison to our very souls, and threatens our very well being! This is why we then see in Proverbs 4 God warning us to guard our heart! We are to guard it jealously as from it flows the springs of life. The Proverb writer then goes on further to show how we are to guard it. We are to guard what we speak, we are to guard what we hear, we are to guard what we see, and we are to guard what we think!
Thoughts form patterns, patterns form habits, habits form character, and character produces destiny! So we must watch our thoughts. We must watch them! What do we spend our time mulling over? What makes up our fantasies? What do we read, watch or listen to? Because all this is the source of our thoughts, and if we allow our thoughts to go unchecked, before we know it we will have become some monstrous person that we ourselves can hardly recognize.
I woke up this morning thinking of the needless heartache I have put myself through. The number of times I so easily and so quickly allowed strangers into my heart, multiplying any small thing done for me to ten times what it actually was; reading in between the lines of any small, kind gesture directed my way when there really was nothing in between those lines. How easily I have let my guard down and fed my precious pearls to the pigs, who in turn, have trampled all over them and not even realized their value. Oh, how poorly I have stewarded the heart God gave me to guard! But thank God for his mercy! Because in realising that the building blocks of character are thought patterns, I have suddenly become aware of my thoughts, and have tediously but relentlessly begun the journey of renewing my mind, replacing thoughts not of God with his good word, and allowing his word to take root in my life. Guarding my heart jealously so, I have begun the journey of forming a character that shall reflect Jesus more and more each day. For you see oh beautiful one of God, the heart does not want what it wants, the heart wants what it is fed! I shall close off with the Proverb verse for its words are life.
Proverbs 4:23 Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. NIV