"Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it." Proverbs 4.23
The piano tuner is coming today. At least there has been some activity on the keys since his last visit, which is more than can be said for many of the previous years! It is an expensive but necessary luxury, if the instrument itself is going to operate at its best.
Is this a principle we should apply to ourselves? How often do we - or should we or could we - tune ourselves for best performance? The Teacher in Proverbs warns "guard your heart". I only appreciated what that means when a friend repeated the advice to me, when I was embroiled in a contentious situation. It kept me from becoming bitter and helped me not to vilify my opponents. Most importantly it kept me focussed on God, to whom we must all give account - and not just on Judgment Day but every day ("Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who have sinned against us...")
Another friend suggested that Christians might usefully "put on the full armour of God" (Ephesians 6. 10-18) as part of our daily routine. If we manage that we can surely accommodate the occasional fine-tuning of our lives, so that we are not just properly equipped but also appropriately focussed.
The Teacher continues "for everything you do flows from it...". Imagine that! The attitudes of our hearts are not simply private opinions, which we may or may not choose to share with others. The are the very driving force which directs our behaviour and characterises who we are as people. And this gets us to the nub of the issue: Worldly values are all about appearance and spin (how we look on the outside) but the true worth of a person (in God's eyes) is the quality of our character.
Time for some fine-tuning?