Remember the verse that says, ” Build a wall around your heart because people will hurt you.” ?
Ya me either.
Proverbs 4:23 says,
Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.
There’s a fine line between guarding your heart and closing it off.
I think we spend more time trying to protect our selves from others, than realizing that loving others isn’t about our safety. Would your rather have some battle wounds in community or escape life unscathed and alone? Loving others isn’t about making sure that those we love, give us that same amount of love back. God calls us to love even our enemies so we shouldn’t just give up on that person we feel isn’t being a good friend, hurt our feelings, or whatever else is making you want to give up on certain relationship. We don’t want to be doormats, but we also don’t want to bolt on an imperfect friendship because we are afraid. Before we walk away, harboring bitterness, let’s fight for our relationships. Let’s tell people how we feel, how they hurt us, how much we want them in our lives. No we can’t be BFF’s with everybody, but sometimes emotions run so high that we so easily assume the worst without communicating.
We need to fight to stay in community; fight against our instinct to run, and against protecting ourselves into a lonely corner. God put people in our lives for a reason. I’ve had to fight for some very important friendships in my life and I am so grateful God gave me the strength to preserver, because my life would be lacking without those friendships. There are times we take the risk of telling people how we feel, and the friendship falls apart, but the healthy, life giving friendships we are supposed to have, will become better after conflict and communication. Instead of always looking down at our wounded hearts and limping away from relationships, let’s look out to others and ask what they need, regardless if they have hurt us or might hurt us. Friendships might come and go, but I believe that God wants us to love every one we meet, the best we can.
Not only will God help you guard your heart in a healthy way, but the best way we can guard our hearts is by not letting bitterness, regret, and anger in. You may not realize that you are harboring hurt in your heart that might be publicly flowing from your life. We don’t always need to guard our hearts from other people, but from ourselves. We have control over our emotions, how we react to people, and how we let them treat us. Let’s look at what is in our hearts and give it to God daily, so we can love freely!