Keep vigilant watch over your heart ...
Keep vigilant watch over your heart; that's where life starts. Don't talk out of both sides of your mouth; avoid careless banter, white lies, and gossip. Keep your eyes straight ahead; ignore all sideshow distractions. Watch your step, and the road will stretch out smooth before you. Look neither right nor left; leave evil in the dust. -Proverbs 4:23-27
It is so easy in life to encounter things that bruise our hearts. People do awful things. Sickness and disease sometimes ravage our bodies and those of the ones that we love. So often our prayers go unanswered and we are left feeling all alone in life. It is in these times that our hearts are so vulnerable and need to be protected from the things that cause it to harden to others and to God. If left untended our hearts become numb and lose the capacity to love.
In Matthew 18 Jesus speaks to us of forgiving from "our heart". Ever wonder why he said it that way? I like to think of forgiveness as God's heart softener. When wounds, criticisms and sins make it past our skin and pierce our heart forgiveness can make our heart soft again. Forgiveness guards our heart and keeps it from becoming hard. This is why it is so important to forgive. It is a way that we can keep a vigilant watch our heart and keep it soft.
As you have taught us to pray Lord: forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.