23 Above all else, guard your heart,
for everything you do flows from it.
It is natural to focus on outer circumstances, and to prioritize life accordingly. But wisdom’s highest priority is the heart – the center of inner life – from which everything else flows. This is a great challenge, as it requires continual attention, but it is also the key to a life well lived. Consider your heart. Is there any anger in there? Any envy, guilt or greed? How about self-pity? What effect have these things had on you? No matter how justified they are, they are doing more harm than good.
Guarding your heart means taking responsibility of what you let in, and what you keep out. No one else can do this for you. It means forgiving, apologizing, giving thanks, and trusting the Lord – no matter how difficult – for your own good. It also means keeping watch over what you expose yourself to, your heart is too precious a thing to be left unprotected. Don’t ask whether you can handle something, but what effect will it have on your heart?