Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. Proverbs 4:23-24
Have you been on the receiving end of someone else’s road rage? I experienced something similar recently while riding a ski chairlift.
As we pulled down the safety bar I heard a grunt from the snowboarder next to me. I turned to ask him what happened, although I realized the bar had hit him on his helmet. My question only gave him the opportunity to ferociously complain and blame my poor elocution and articulation—referring to my English accent—for the accident.
I didn’t feel what had happened was actually my fault. There was another skier on the chairlift with us who had helped pull down the bar. So, instead of saying sorry I said: “Well maybe you deserved it.” This was like pouring gasoline on a fire. Out of the snowboarder’s mouth came a torrent of abuse. I began to fear for my physical safety. As we slid off the lift at the top, the skier next to me said: “That’s one angry young man.”
A cauldron of rage boiled away inside this guy and it flowed out like lava that morning. I am not proud either of my comment that fueled his fury.
Proverbs 4:22 teaches it is paramount to guard our hearts because it influences the words we use. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of, says Matthew 12:34.
So how do we protect our hearts to enable our words to build up instead of tear down?
Channel your thoughts
Bring your unlovely thoughts and ugly feelings to God in prayer and ask for forgiveness.
Focus your mind
We must feast on scripture so we are filled with God’s words and they overflow into our thoughts and speech. Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds says Deuteronomy 11:18.
Pivot your thinking
Negative thoughts are like the flaming arrows of the evil one and dwelling on them can lead to harmful words. Banish them in the name of Jesus as you hold up the shield of faith.
Lord, cleanse my heart so the words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight. (Psalm 19:14) In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.