"Keep thy heart with all diligence, for out of it are the issues of life."
“Keep thy heart.”
Sadly, the natural man who does not know God personally does not have a heart worth keeping. It is not until the repentant sinner turns in faith to the Lord Jesus Christ that they receive a new heart (Ezekiel 36:26). To all genuine believers, Solomon’s words ring true, “keep thy heart.” The danger for us is all the many voices and temptations that a believer faces in this life. If we are not careful, it is easy to let the things of this world change our hearts. Warren Wiersbe cautions us about having the wrong kind of heart.
“The Bible warns us to avoid a double heart (Psalm 12:2), a hard heart (Proverbs 28:14), a proud heart (Proverbs 21:4), an unbelieving heart (Hebrews 3:12), a cold heart (Matthew 24:12), and an unclean heart (Psalm 51:10)”  (Wiersbe – EWC).
“The heart… should be guarded for out of it (a wellspring) come one’s actions (… Luke 6:45). Here the word ‘heart’ means more than mental or emotional capacity; it also encompasses one’s values (… Matthew 6:21)”  (BKC).
“A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good, and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh” (Luke 6:45).
“For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Matthew 6:21).
“With all diligence.”
We need to notice that keeping our heart is not some casual hobby we play at now and then. We must keep our hearts diligently!
“If we pollute that wellspring, the infection will spread; before long, hidden appetites will become open sins and public shame”  (Wiersbe – EWC).
“With all diligence. This implies that it isn’t easy to guard or keep one’s heart. There will be many opportunities to give our heart to a person or a path that wisdom would warn against” (Guzik – EWC).
Diligently – “Above all else is literally “more than all guarding.” To guard something is to make sure that it does not get away and that it is safe from attack. In Hebrew, the heart is the location of knowledge and also the preconscious source of decisions (Proverbs 27:19; Matthew 15:18). Your heart is who you are, the ‘true you’ that directs all your thoughts and emotions”  (CSB).
Why? Why do we need to spend so much time and effort to guard our hearts? Here’s why –
“For out of it are the issues of life.”
Everything a person speaks, does, and thinks – comes from the depths of their heart. Have you heard a person say or do something inappropriate, and then say something like, “I don’t know where that came from; it so unlike me.” No, that’s untrue! It is like them because only bitter water comes out of a bitter well (James 3:11). Whatever is in our hearts will eventually bubble up to the surface.
“For as the heart is either pure or corrupt, so is the whole course of man’s life”  (Geneva).
“The inner person has to be right because that is the source of all else, but outward behavior is not just left to work itself out from that. We also have to pay attention to speaking straight, looking straight and walking straight”  (NBC).
Dear friend, what do your actions and words tell others about your heart?
Quote: “The inclination of your heart directs your mortal life and determines whether you enter eternal life (Proverbs 3:22)”  (CSB).
 Wiersbe’s quote is borrowed from EWC – David Guzik. Enduring Word Commentary, the electronic version in eSword. The emphasis is mine.
 BKC, Buzzell, S. S. (1985). Proverbs. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 1, p. 914). Victor Books.
 EWC, ibid.
 CSB, Stabnow, D. K. (2017). Proverbs. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 959). Holman Bible Publishers.
 Geneva Bible: Notes (Vol. 1, p. 268). (1560). Rovland Hall.
 NBC, Goldingay, J. E. (1994). Proverbs. In D. A. Carson, R. T. France, J. A. Motyer, & G. J. Wenham (Eds.), New Bible commentary: 21st-century edition (4th ed., p. 590). Inter-Varsity Press.
 CSB, ibid.