“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it” (Proverbs 4:23).
The Bible translation we use at the Little Church and Lakewoodgrace is the NIV or the New International Version. We use this version of the Bible because it is a good combination of faithfulness to the original text and readability for modern readers.
But the thing about any of the translations is that they are translations. Every translation has to balance faithfulness to the original language and the meaning of the original language.
This verse is a perfect example of that. The New Century Version translates the verse in this way: “Be careful what you think, because your thoughts run your life.”
How can the two translations be so different? Which one is right?
They are both right. Here’s why:
- The NIV translates the Hebrew more literally and faithfully
- The NCV translates the Hebrew meaning more literally and faithfully
The key is in the word translated as “heart” by the NIV and “thoughts” by the NCV. The Hebrew word is heart. But the problem in translating the Hebrew word as heart in English is that for American readers heart refers to emotions and feelings. That’s not what the Jews meant by “heart.” You see, the heart was the place of thoughts and reasoning. Our brain is the same as the way the Jews thought about the heart.
So both are correct. Do guard your heart – the place of thoughts and reasoning. For everything you do flows from the basis of your thinking.
This is what the Apostle Paul had in mind in 2 Corinthians 10:5, “Take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”
What and how you think absolutely matters. If you think that God can’t, your God can’t. If you believe that your God can, you are right. What and how we think matters. So think like a Christian. Think like you believe the God of the Bible. Let the Bible be the basis of your thinking.
Got it? Think like a Christian. Think like a Christ-follower.