Keep Your Heart in this Social World

“Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life” (Proverbs 4:23).

Isn’t it strange that you experience emotion in your chest, not your head? It is among the most puzzling things about being human. The brain is supposed to interpret and control everything that goes on in your body, yet it seems to feel nothing, an emotionally hollow organ.

Joy, sadness, fear, anger, and everything else rest instead somewhere near our hearts. And so the above proverb of Solomon tells us to consider the state of our hearts. In one of his early psalms, David asks, “Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? or who shall stand in his holy place? He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart” (Psalm 24:3-4).

You can think of the clean hands as the deliberate choices you make, the work of your life, but that is only half the battle. There is also the matter of what your heart looks like. The Savior also taught this, saying,

“When thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward . . . thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly” (Matthew 6:2, 4).

We live in an exceptionally insecure world and do a lot of things just to be seen. Any quick search through social media will easily confirm this. Many of our hearts breathe hopefully when likes, favorites, shares, and re-tweets are in the balance, and some of us don’t stop there; we actually deliberately do things to expand our following, to make ourselves more likable and shareable. By letting our hearts rest on such things, we fall into a cycle of excitement and depression that dictates our happiness, seldom for the better.

In speaking of faith, the apostle James warned, “he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed” (James 1:7). I don’t want you to consider how the world or social media stops you from having faith in God or in goodness, but rather how it stops you from having faith in yourself. That journey starts and ends with your heart.

We are all children of God, and that can be so easily forgotten in this fast-paced, ever-changing era of mankind. Your heart, how you feel and experience the world, is the center of who you are here on earth. You can control it if you do as the proverb suggests, diligently keep it as your own and not give it to others to be controlled, manipulated, or judged.

Do what you enjoy and feel right about, but with a love of yourself.

Don’t sail against the stream, with it, or sideways simply because the world thinks you should.

Sail the way your heart, the one you keep, tells you to go.

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