A Guarded Heart

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In the first weekend of “3 in 30”, Adam Marroquin, the NextSteps Director at the West Toledo Campus, unpacked three very different interpretations of what a guarded heart means. One has a defensive posture, which he identified as a Wall Builder, a person who intentionally builds up walls around themselves to keep others out. Next is The Defender, a person who guards by protecting the dream in their heart at all costs. Finally, he identified the Lavish Giver, a person who guards their heart by generously giving and expecting nothing in return. This is living like Christ, serving the people around us and not expecting repayment. If you want to find freedom and adventure in your relationships again, consider living from a guarded heart as a Lavish Giver.

Mark 10:45
For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give life as a ransom for many.

Jesus redefined the dynamics of our relationships with others by demonstrating selfless giving, and we are to follow his example.

Proverbs 4:23 (NIV)
Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.

This is one of my favorite Bible verses. From the inception of my Facebook page, my bio has read, “Living a Christian life, one day at a time, with a guarded heart.” I am optimistic about my many relationships, whether it is with family, a romantic interest, friends, coworkers, or my small group. I have a heart that is alive with desire, but that desire is rooted in pleasing God.

Our hearts were created to connect with God and to know him. Yet, many of us have an optimism that our relationships with people can fill our hearts in a way they were never intended to. When we look for our relationships to fill our hearts, disappointment can emerge because we are looking to people to meet a need that only God can fulfill.

1 John 5:21
Dear children, keep away from anything that might take God’s place in your hearts.

When you keep God in his proper place in your heart and seek to please him, you will find it easier to be a Lavish Giver, able to give generously to others without needing much in return.

What are some of the unmet expectations in your relationships that are ruling your heart? Are you building a wall?

What does your heart look like in your relationships today? Are you experiencing disappointment?

Next Steps:
Identify the tense relationships that are causing frustration in your life. Journal possible causes of the tension and commit to working on resolutions. Invite Christ into the relationship and observe what transpires.

If you didn’t have a chance to hear Adam’s talk, you can watch it on https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vLnCQdOnRG0&t=43s

Dear Abba Father, help me to guard my heart in such a way that I will be a Lavish Giver. Grant me the wisdom to know that when my heart’s desires are unmet, I need to look to you, not others. Give me strength to live like Christ in serving others without expecting something in return. In Christ’s name, amen.

This post was written by Jennifer Macke. Jenn is the Real Estate Manager for Hancock County. She has a son, daughter, granddaughter, and grandson, and she thanks God every day for them. She feels blessed to be writing for the LivingItOut. She was raised in an Evangelical Church, but her spiritual life awakened when she started attending CedarCreek.

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1 reply
  1. Ben Snyder
    Ben Snyder says:

    Jenn- Adams talk was fun for me. I loved his content and how he expanded my understanding of guarding our heart with lavish giving.

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