You cannot hide what is in your heart.
I recently saw a Christian post on Facebook. It featured a somewhat miserable looking child and the caption was: “I can control my tongue, it’s my face that’s the problem“. Firstly, if your face is looking miserable, then there is a reason for that! Proverbs 27:19 in The Message translation says, “Just as water mirrors your face, so your face mirrors your heart“. Whilst to some extent you can bite your tongue and not say the the wrong thing, you cannot hide what is in your heart. Despite your best efforts, it will show on your face. You are not going to be able to bite your tongue indefinitely though either, Matthew 12:34 in the Contemporary English Version says, “Your words show what is in your hearts“. But having said all that, you should not be trying to hide what is in your heart, you should not be putting on a fake smile.
How do we maintain a joyful heart?
The mentality that as Christians we should be putting on a fake smile, that we should be masking what is in our hearts, is totally false. It is not the expression on our face that matters, it is the condition of our heart. If our heart is in a good condition, our face will naturally look to be full of joy. Proverbs 15:13 in the Holman Christian Standard Bible says, “A joyful heart makes a face cheerful“. So the question is: how do we maintain a joyful heart? Proverbs 4:23 in the New Living Translation says, “Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life“. The job of a guard is to prevent unwanted people or things from entering the place that he is guarding. Therefore guarding your heart means that you do not allow anything negative to enter in. Mark 4:19 says, “The cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful“. All of these things come to invade our hearts, but our job is to stop them entering in. Our job is to cast down imaginations and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God (2 Corinthians 10:5).
Be diligent to speak only good, pure, positive words.
There are different ways that we should be guarding our hearts, because the devil uses different avenues of attack. But don’t get concerned about him – he’s a defeated foe! The first way that we need to protect our heart is by being cautious of what we are looking at and focusing on. I wrote about this in more detail in my post, ‘What Are You Looking At?‘. The second route into our hearts that needs to be guarded, is the words that we speak. We have already looked at Matthew 12:34, that says that what we speak shows what is in our hearts, but likewise the words that we speak go down into our hearts. There is a cycle at work here. Be diligent to speak only good, pure, positive words and if you slip up and say words that you know that you shouldn’t have said, be quick to repent and thus guard your heart!
We need to be watchful not to allow unforgiveness into our hearts.
The third avenue of attack that you need to guard against is ‘the cares of this world’. There are potentially many things in this life that could cause you to be worried or upset, but you do not have to allow them to get into your heart. 1 Peter 5:8 tells us to cast all of our cares on Him (Jesus). By worrying about something, you are in effect saying that you do not trust God to resolve it. I know that sounds harsh, but its the truth. As Christians we do not need to worry or fret about a single thing. God will resolve all of our cares, if we will let Him (see ‘Back Off & Let God Work!‘). The fourth route into our heart that we need to guard, comes from when we are hurt or offended by other people’s actions. When this happens, we need to be watchful not to allow unforgiveness into our hearts. It does not matter what has been done against us, we need to be quick to forgive. Not for the sake for the person who has wronged or upset us, but for the sake of our own peace. The final way of attack that we need to guard against is sin. Obviously the best thing is not to sin, but if we do slip up, we should be quick to confess our sins, repent and move on, rather than dwelling on guilty feelings.
The key to a rich and successful life is to cast your cares on Almighty God. God is greater thank all your cares.
— Pastor John Hagee (@PastorJohnHagee) 15 July 2017
There may be other things that we need to guard against, that I have not covered here. But to summarise, we should not be allowing anything bad into our hearts. Guard your heart above all things and then your smile will be real and not fake.
If you have any further questions or thoughts, please feel free to leave a comment.
If you have never received Jesus as your Lord & Saviour, if you have gone away from God, or if you have any doubts regarding your salvation. I encourage you to click on the link below. Clicking on the link will not secure your salvation, but praying the prayer you find, from your heart, will.
For the salvation prayer, please click here.