A few years ago, I watched a TED talk that I absolutely loved.
So, I found the speaker's Instagram account (stalkerish, I know) and reached out to him. I was looking for a new mentor and hoped he would be willing to be that person.
To my surprise, he quickly responded back to me, and we set up a date to chat over the phone — yes, it went down in the DM! 😉
Our first conversation was so empowering. My heart was happy because he not only saw my potential to make a difference in the world, but we had similar mindsets. So, we kept in touch, met up a few times, and became friends.
A few months after our first phone chat, he asked me a question that made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside ... he asked me if I would be a part of his mastermind group.
Omg, yes! Definitely, yes.
Having someone who's achieved a great deal of "success" ask me to be a part of his inner brainstorming circle (mastermind) was a huge deal for me. I felt honored.
So, we started masterminding the following week. And yeah, it didn't quite go the way I thought it would. We wound up talking about religious beliefs, and our conversation turned into an unsolicited debate.
Our beliefs were very different — I believe in Jesus Christ, and he believes we are all gods. The conversation went to places we never anticipated, and I felt the magnetic dynamic between us lose its power.
The next day, he shot me a text and asked me to call him when I had a chance. I was busy at a freelance job, but I couldn't take the suspense, so I called him immediately.
In the nicest way possible, my friend told me that he "jumped the gun" when he offered me the opportunity to be in his mastermind group. He thought that I was flawed because I yielded to God. And he only wanted to mastermind with people who had no limitations.
I was devastated.
I'm not sure if you've ever had someone you respected put you on a pedestal and then kick it from underneath you, but it hurts. My mind was consumed with thoughts of inadequacy.
Was I really flawed because I believe in consulting God before making decisions? Was I truly unqualified to be in his circle of influence? Was I not enough?
That was the day I learned that guarding your heart is not just about romantic relationships.
"Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life. Avoid all perverse talk; stay away from corrupt speech. Look straight ahead, and fix your eyes on what lies before you." — Proverbs 23-25
The heart and mind work together. Think about a person who's brain dead. The heart may still be pumping, but when the mind is gone, they're gone.
The day my friend told me he didn't want me in his mastermind group anymore, my heart was hurt, but my mind was alive with scriptural truth.
I totally understand what Paul meant in Romans 7:25: "Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God's law, but in my sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.
My mind knew who God said I was, but my heart yearned for acceptance. My heart was a slave to my fleshly feelings and was trying to dictate my next move.
And it almost did.
After a few minutes of letting negative thoughts run wild in my mind, I caught them. I knew who I was and what I stood for, and I was not going to waste another minute feeling guilty for standing up for my faith.
And neither should you.
The Bible tells us to guard our heart because it can easily deceive us. Sometimes we're so "in our feelings" and want something so badly that we compromise our faith by making an idol out of that thing (or person) we want.
We let our deceptive heart dictate our decisions instead of taking a moment to think clearly.
A huge part of guarding your heart is being honest with yourself. Learn to recognize when your heart wants something that you know has the potential to pollute your walk with God.
Using your head, instead of your emotions, to make tough decisions will help you to land on your feet.
Romans 12:2 says, "Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will."
It's true ... it's with our mind that we serve the Lord. And it's with our whole heart AND mind that we are instructed to love Him. Your heart and mind should be in agreement, not in a war against each other.
Worldly success is cool, but what God has to offer is unfathomable. Trust in Him to guide your decisions, and always guard your heart.
I'd love to hear from you! What are you learning or have you learned about guarding your heart? Reply on the discussions page, and I look forward to chatting with you :).
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You were born to do great things. Guard your heart.