Proverbs 4:23-24 - The Verses Project

Bible Proverbs 4:23-24

Posted October 08, 2015

Keep your heart with all vigilance,
for from it flow the springs of life.
Put away from you crooked speech,
and put devious talk far from you.

Proverbs 4 is a chapter that puts on display the loving advice of a father toward his son, beckoning him to take wisdom into the depths of his heart, walk in it, and never walk away from it. These two particular verses give us a powerful call to be a people who keep a close watch on our hearts and mouths.

Heart Keepers

What does it mean to “keep your heart”? In Proverbs, the heart is the control room to the person. The ESV Study Bible calls it “the center of one’s inner life and orientation to God, from which a person does all thinking, feeling, and choosing.” If that’s the case, then this command is essential! Not only should we keep our heart, but we are told to keep it with all vigilance. Not a partial vigilance, not a “most of the time” vigilance, but rather a complete vigilance. Why such vigilance? Because from it flows the springs of life. Our hearts are directing our lives, and should our hearts be overtaken, they’ll lead us to death. In light of this truth, be ever watchful over your heart and its influences!

Some commentators think this verse could have been on Jesus’ mind when He spoke these words referencing the Holy Spirit in John 7:38: “Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’” We need the Holy Spirit’s leading and guidance when it comes to our heart; we need Him to lead us to life. Not to merely give us outer things, but rather to give us life from inside out.

Truth Speakers

As we find our true source of life in God Himself through Jesus’ work on the cross and the indwelling of the Spirit, we can’t help but be affected in practical ways. We learn to not only be watchful over our hearts, but also our mouths. One of the things God’s life affects is our speech. We are to be those who give themselves to truth, and in turn, rid ourselves of crooked speech and devious talk! We want to be those whose hearts flow forth with life, and whose mouths overflow with truth! If inhabited by the Spirit of truth Himself, how could we comfortably deceive those around us? The gospel creates both a new inward inclination toward God (and life), as well as an inclination to be people of character and integrity.

May our hearts be His, and may our mouths reflect this! We are not our own, but His through and through.


Devotional by Joel Limpic.
Song by Joel Limpic.
Production, mix, and trumpet by Aaron Strumpel.
Artwork by Tyler Wohlford.