(23) Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.
(24) Put away from thee a froward mouth, and perverse lips put far from thee.
(25) Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee.
(26) Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established.
(27) Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil.
If you own one of those filtering water pitchers, you know that their claim to fame is how they filter out impurities. You also know how long it takes to fill them. It takes so long because the filters focus more on what they are keeping out than what they are letting in. As stringent and slow as that process is, you know that once the filters have done their job, what you get out of the pitcher is clean, clear water that is safe to drink.
Less is More
Like those filtering pitchers, our hearts should be known as much for what they keep out as what they let in. Let’s face it, there’s a lot in this world that has no business dwelling in our hearts. God warns us to keep our hearts with all diligence. Why? Because out of it are the issues [outlook, attitude, decisions, mindset] of life. With those pitchers, you can tell what’s going in by what’s coming out of them. The filtering pitchers we have come with little monitoring devices that we can put into the filtered water to see if all the impurities are coming out. If we get a bad reading, we know it’s time to change the filter.
The way God checks to see our filters is often by putting us under pressure to see what comes out of our lives. If we respond in a way that is ungodly, then there is something wrong with our filter. Somewhere we are letting things into our hearts that are bubbling to the surface and into our lives. Most of the sins that beset us are rooted in something we have allowed to creep into our thinking. We like to tell ourselves that we can keep those things hidden and under control. But even if no one knows what you are harboring in your heart, its corrupting influence still has a way of showing itself.
What’s in Your Bucket Will Come Out
Think of your heart as a bucket full of water, filled nearly to the brim. You have to carry that bucket through life. There’s no lid on that bucket. So, you have to keep junk out of it all the time. You’re also intent on keeping the water inside it. As long as life is favorable and the road is smooth, it’s pretty easy to keep the water in the bucket. But you’re not the only one with a bucket. Everyone else has one, too and they’re also trying to get through life with it. Life is crowded with people, problems and obstacles. You’re going to get sloshed around. Sooner or later, whatever is in your bucket is going to come out. If you want to make sure that the only thing spilling out of your bucket is the water of blessing, you have to make sure you’re constantly filtering your heart.