Proverbs 4:23 says, “Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.” When it comes to relationships, many Christians are diligent to keep this verse in their minds.
But is it possible to actually guard your heart too much? Here are 4 signs this could be happening to you.
- If You Are Guarding Your Heart So Much You Are Stopping Life From Flowing Out of It, This Is a Sign You Are Guarding Your Heart Too Much
One way to determine if you are putting up too many walls rather than being biblically wise in guarding your heart is by looking at the results of your choices. Are your boundaries helping you accomplish the goal of Proverbs 4:23?
According to this verse, the reason we are supposed to guard our hearts is because life flows from a healthy heart. So if you are doing something that is actually blocking good things from coming out of your new heart that Christ has given you, this is a sign you are guarding it too much.
For example, a desire to be with someone who has godly characteristics is a biblical desire. If you have this desire in your heart but you are refusing to let it come out, you are not really fulfilling the spirit of what God is teaching us through Proverbs 4:23.
When you guard your heart biblically, you will protect it from sin and abuse, but you will not hinder your heart from doing what God designed it to do when he remade it through the gospel of Jesus Christ, for as Ezekiel 36:26 says, “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you.” Out of this new heart can come biblical and good desires.
We must not stop good things from coming out of our new hearts in Christ, for as Jesus said in Luke 6:45 (NLT), “A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart . . . .”
- If You Are Guarding Your Heart in Fear Rather Than in Faith, This Is a Sign You Are Guarding Your Heart Too Much
Another indicator of guarding your heart too much is the motivation for why you are guarding it. Our motivations control what we actually do. If you are trying to guard your heart in fear, you will probably guard it too much because this is coming out of wounded place inside of you.
On the other hand, if you are trying to guard your heart so you can resist sin and honor God in your life, you are probably going to be guarding your heart in a much healthier and well balanced way.
- If You Never Allow Yourself to Get Close to Anyone Because You Fear You Will Get Hurt, This Is a Sign You Are Guarding Your Heart Too Much
On a practical level, one sign that can show you if you are guarding your heart too much is how you interact with other people. God does not say it is wrong to be open with people. He does say we must guard our heart so we do not let immoral people into our lives.
2 Timothy 2:22 gives us a great balance. It says, “Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.”
We are supposed to flee the bad but we are supposed to pursue God alongside those who also love God. Christianity must always be personal but it can never be private. All humans need to have meaningful relationships with other people.
If you are guarding your heart so much that you are never able to actually make healthy bonds with other people who love Christ, this is a sign you are guarding your heart too much.
- If You Are Actually Refusing to Follow God’s Call to Step Out in Faith, This Means You Are Guarding Your Heart Too Much
As we’ve been saying, God obviously does call us to guard our hearts, but God does not call us to live a safe and sheltered life. The goal God has for us is not safety. God continually calls his people to lose their lives for his sake and to love other people even when we all know we will get hurt sometimes.
You cannot have true love without some sort of risk. God knew humans would hurt him, but he decided to have a relationship with us anyways. God calls us to love other people even though they will hurt us sometimes.
How can you know if you are protecting yourself in a healthy way or refusing to love someone? You have to walk with God. It would be impossible for me to make a general statement to answer that questions because every situation will be different. So the real key is that you must walk with God.
Here’s what is clear though. If you know God is telling you to step out in faith and love other people more but you are refusing to follow his leading, this is a sign you are guarding your heart too much.
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