My child, pay attention to what I say.
Listen carefully to my words.
Don’t lose sight of them.
Let them penetrate deep into your heart,
for they bring life to those who find them,
and healing to their whole body.
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.
Mark out a straight path for your feet;
stay on the safe path.
Don’t get sidetracked;
keep your feet from following evil.
Proverb 4:20-27, NLT
I'm going to make a confession, don't tell anyone. I can be a bit...emotional at times. There, I've said it. And the truth is, I'm not ashamed of feeling. I'm not ashamed of feeling joy, or sadness; anger or love. God created all of these emotions. But, have you ever noticed how much the world wants us to lock up our emotions and just walk around like we don't feel? They want us to be robots who aren't affected by anything. Everyone wants us to be tough and wear armor that is unpenetrable.
So, I'm going to make another confession. I like to watch Once Upon a Time. The first season was the best, but they've hooked me. What I've noticed about the show is the over arching theme of "the heart". All of the character, the heroes and the villains, are trying to either save or protect their hearts. There are even characters who can enchant hearts and use them to control another person.
I feel like this them is much like our world today. Emma Swan, the show's savior, learns in an episode that she needs to find a way to have armor to protect herself from the world, from being hurt emotionally. She uses her red leather jacket as that armor. It seems so silly that a piece of clothing could protect her emotionally.
The proverb above says that we should allow God to protect us and guard our hearts. We don't prevent ourselves from feeling or loving, we just give it all to him and he will keep us safe. I hope you'll join me in worship on Sunday as we talk about how we can take this idea further and finish our series "Never Again."
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Faith Parry serves as our Associate Pastor, and has been at the church since 2015. When she's not preaching and teaching, she enjoys documentaries and TV. Read more about Faith here.