20 My son, be attentive to my words;
incline your ear to my sayings.
21 Let them not escape from your sight;
keep them within your heart. 22 For they are life to those who find them,
and healing to all their flesh.
23 Keep your heart with all vigilance,
for from it flow the springs of life.
“Where did that come from?” we will ask when we have surprised ourselves with an inappropriate remark or action. It came from the heart, what was lurking deep within. Jesus taught as much when he said, “What comes out of a person is what defiles him” (Mark 7:20). In like manner, we may be surprised how we have risen to the occasion and spoken or acted in some generous manner. Our proverbs explain that we are to take care of the heart through diligence in studying the wisdom of God’s Word. Just as our body is impacted by the flow of blood pumped through the heart, and thus we are to care for the physical heart, so our lives are impacted by what flows out of the spiritual heart, and we need to provide good care for it.
Thus we need to daily read and meditate upon God’s Word. We need to continually be instructing our heart by that Word. But instruction also includes Word-informed teaching. And so we should be reading sound Christian books, listening to biblical preachers and teachers, and listening to solid Christian music. By being attentive to such words and keeping them within our heart, we shall not only find life and healing for ourselves, but become a source for springs of life for others.
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