“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”
Explanation and Commentary of Proverbs 4:23
This proverb is totally consistent with the teachings of Christ. Murder starts with hatred. Adultery starts with lust. Theft starts with greed.
That we should guard our hearts is not disputable, but how we should guard our hearts is a question worth contemplating. There is no hope without first being born again. It is only by the Holy Spirit that we can truly be sanctified in Christ. Believe that Jesus died to forgive your sins, call on the name of the Lord (Ro 10:13) and repent.
Then, seek to live in him every moment. Walk by the Spirit. Stay in the Vine (Jn 15) and stay your mind on God and the things of God (Isa 26:3). Guard your heart with the love of God and the armor of God (Eph 6:10-18). What flows from it will be a godly life, full of godly action that will glorify him and be a light in the dark for others to see and know Christ.
Breaking Down the Key Parts of Proverbs 4:23
#1 “Above all else,”
This is quite a statement in a book that is bursting with important and crucial wisdom. Guarding the heart is “above all else” because all wickedness and all love proceed from it, both good fruit and bad (Lk 6:45).
#2 “guard your heart,”
All people in the unbelieving world are led around by their hearts. Sadly many Christians are as well. But we are told to be in charge of our hearts and it will be of service to us. We must fill it with good things so that it will produce good things.
#3 “for everything you do flows from it.”
Jesus said, “The mouth speaks what the heart is full of” (Mt 12:34). He spoke these words to those he considered a “brood of vipers,” implying that their hearts were full of venom, and so they spoke and acted. If you want to see what is in a person’s heart, watch what flows out in words and action.
Expert Overview of Proverbs
Biblical Translations of Proverbs 4:23
Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.
Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.
Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.
Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.
Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life.
Natalie Regoli is a child of God, devoted wife, and mother of two boys. She has a Master's Degree in Law from The University of Texas. Natalie has been published in several national journals and has been practicing law for 18 years.