Keeping Your Heart

Chic Broersma

Read: Proverbs 4:18-27

Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life. (v. 23)

I served as a campus pastor to three college students whom we’ll call Molly, Jon, and Andy. Molly worked at a nursing home, but resigned after a rule forbidding staff from hugging residents went into effect. Management noticed and reconsidered. Molly kept her job—and her heart, her integrity.

Jon was denied entrance to the medical school of his choice. He told me he was quite sure it was because of his views on abortion. He was later accepted by another medical school. Today, he has a flourishing pediatric practice—and he preserved his heart with his integrity intact.

Andy went to Zambia to help people. He became infected with a disease and nearly died. Rather than complain, he wrote me, “I’ve decided if you’re going to go to where the people live, you’ve got to be willing to get sick with their diseases.” Andy accepted responsibility for his decisions—and kept the integrity of his heart.

The heart is our thought factory, the garden of our emotions, and the wellspring of our desires and deeds. God invites us to pray for wisdom in such situations and promises that his peace will “guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:7). Molly, Jon, and Andy: three people, three choices. After being tested, the wellspring of their hearts still flowed freely. This is the key to personal integrity. —Chic Broersma

Prayer: Lord, replace the mucky waters of our hearts with your living water and keep us true to you and others.