Keep and guard your heart with all vigilance and above all that you guard, for out of it flow the springs of life.
(New American Standard Bible)
Watch over your heart with all diligence, For from it flow the springs of life.
While meditating on this scripture for a couple of days, these were the thoughts that rose to the surface:
"Guard your heart" … what does that mean? I picture a guard standing watch attentively at his post. I have always understood it in the sense of beware, almost like, don't let people in to the emotional realm of your heart; like be very careful and on guard. So, should we barricade the door, close all the windows and shield ourselves from any possible intruders? Well of course, we have to be careful and wise but putting that interpretation aside for a moment, I perceived another understanding of the verse that also focuses on the second part:
"… for out of it flow the springs of life"
If we block the door, we may shield ourselves from various dangers but will the springs of life flow out? Our hearts must be open to pour out the springs of life that God has given us; guarded from the evils that seek to pollute and defile us in an attempt to contaminate the fresh living waters or hinder the river's flow.
I think such evils are those things that Jesus spoke of that actually come out of a man's heart and defile him, like those also mentioned by Paul in his letters, things such as lust, unclean passions, evil desires, covetousness, anger, wrath, malice, slander, hatred, blasphemy, filthy language, lying, selfish ambition, pride, self-righteousness ... and so on … these are some of the things from which we must guard our hearts.
So yes, let us guard our hearts but not block our hearts and let us be like living fountains of life wherever we go, flowing with acts of kindness, tender mercies, humility, meekness, sharing, caring, praying, forgiving, meeting needs, being 'hilariously' generous, bringing peace, encouragement and of course overflowing with love which is the bond of perfection.